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Posted by portugalpress on April 27, 2018
Anne Green, past President of the Algarve Wine Society, and Steve Rigby, current Vice President
Members enjoying sunshine in the garden at Florian

The Dão winery Quinta das Marias presented no less than seven of its prestigious wines to the Algarve Wine Society at this year’s annual gourmet dinner at Restaurant Florian in Almancil.

The winery is owned by Peter and Elizabeth Eckert, a Swiss couple who bought the near-derelict property back in 1991. There was no hesitation in naming the property “Quinta das Marias” when Elizabeth and the three Eckert daughters all have “Maria” as part of their name.

The Algarve Wine Society has visited the winery twice on trips to Dão and it was always a very popular stop.

Quinta das Marias has gone from strength to strength. The Eckerts planted their original four hectares with indigenous varieties only and since then have augmented the property to 12 hectares, producing a total of 60,000 bottles a year. Last year they won an important award in the Portugal Wine Challenge for their Touriga Nacional Reserva 2011.

The recently unsettled weather improved for the evening and members were able to enjoy a welcome drink and canapes in Florian’s pretty, jasmine-scented garden.

Chef Piet Warwink devised a beautifully paired menu for the 52 diners. Everything from the smoked salmon, the exquisite ‘frango do campo’ foie gras terrine, lovely turbot Singapore style, to the tarte tatin and vanilla ice cream was created in Piet’s kitchen and perfectly balanced the delicious wines.

Front of house at Florian is the responsibility of Piet’s wife, Karin Mirande, and service was swift and professional.

The Quinta das Marias wines tasted were a lovely fresh Encruzado Dão 2016; a Lote Branco Dão DOC 2015; and a superb recently bottled Rosé 2017. Then followed four reds, an Alfrocheiro Dão Doc 2015, a Lote Dão Doc 2016, a Cuvee TT Dão Doc 2015 and finally a Touriga Nacional Reserva Dão Doc 2015.

Peter introduced the wine with each course with several amusing anecdotes which enlightened and entertained members.

Another memorable evening at Florian.

For more information on the Algarve Wine Society and membership visit www.algarvewinesociety.com

By GAYNOR STAPLETON

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