Sometimes you come across a dream place that makes you think, does this really exist? A place where the weather is almost always good, in a beautiful location, where everything is a little different but still seems right. And that in the middle of the vines with all imaginable luxury. It seems impossible until you get there yourself. Quinta dos Vales is located in Lagoa in the Portuguese Algarve, near the town of Estômbar. A vineyard where wine, art, relaxation and sport meet in a very special way.
Quinta dos Vales, where everything is connected
One of the most famous wineries in the Algarve is also a holiday home. A dream place with wine and art and all imaginable facilities such as a tennis court, padel court, heated swimming pools, a special mini golf course and wine-related workshops. The fact that you can also take a daily mountain bike ride among the vines is just one of the many extras. If you try to explain it, no one will believe it.
But at Quinta dos Vales they have managed to bring it all together. It is a place where you can easily last a long time. It is equally fantastic that during a bike ride you end up in the middle of a wedding. Because in addition to all the luxury, fun and wine, the location is so special that weddings are also celebrated here.
Your own vineyard in Portugal with the Winemaker Experience
The Quinta dos Vales winery, regardless of size and location, is a project that has particular similarities to the culture of an internet startup, but then translated to the world of wine. Quinta dos Vales gives you the opportunity to start your own vineyard with your personal vines, where your grapes hang and that ultimately means your own wine.
All this comes together in a Winemaker Experience devised by Karl Heinz Stock – founder and owner of Quinta dos Vales. Three conditions are central to this Winemaker Experience. It has to be authentic, affordable (for those who can afford it) and carefree in the sense that you don’t have to worry about whether your own vintage will be okay.
Here you literally become part owner of a small part of Quinta dos Vales, without the additional worries of a winegrower. The idea is that from a wine lover you eventually become a winemaker, briefly described as ‘the Winemaker Experience’.
As a winemaker, you will receive full support from the Quinta dos Vales team and you will be fully guided throughout the production process. So you don’t have to invest in anything, because the available resources are being used. Call it a relief in a way where you are guaranteed your own wine every year. Moreover, the grapes here are still picked by hand in the traditional way.
▸ Read more about the Winemaker Experience on Quinta dos Vale’s website.
The wines from Quinta dos Vales
The motto of Quinta dos Vales is that quality comes first here and not quantity. And you feel that in everything. On the 44-hectare vineyard you will come across no fewer than 15 national and international grape varieties. The first plantings date back to 1998, but according to Karl Heinz and his team, the real breakthrough and development only came in 2007.
The wines produced there are Marquês dos Vales and Dialog. That the wines score highly is evident from the more than 100 medals that have already been won, including mentions at the ‘Concours Mondial de Bruxelles’ and ‘The International Wine Challenge’.
The bottle mixing workshop
At Quinta dos Vales, workshops are regularly held that have everything to do with wine. Naturally, there are wine tastings, usually held outside on the covered panoramic terrace. You can also take a look behind the scenes with a winemaker and visit the wine cellars.
However, the best introduction is the Bottle Blending Workshop. Here you will learn during a workshop how to make your own mixture. You will be surprised at how much influence it has on the taste of wine if, for example, you add only 10 percent of another grape to your self-selected wine.
That Bottle Blending Workshop is actually the first step in ‘The Winemaker Experience’ to grow as a wine lover into a real winemaker.
The Vines: a unique resort
Situated on the extensive vineyard estate, The Vines is a small resort with a total of 16 detached holiday homes comprising two separate luxury apartments. These apartments have a large living room with open kitchen, bedroom, bathroom with shower, are equipped with WiFi and have a private terrace overlooking the flanks of the vineyard. You cannot find a better place to enjoy the sunset in the evening. And no matter which direction you look, the vines and the art are always visible, partly hidden in the landscape, but also in places where you wouldn’t expect this.
The summer houses are also for sale again. The fact that the purchase of such a home can be linked with your own piece of Quinta dos Vales seems like a natural combination. And with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year in the Algarve, in addition to the mild climate, you can come here all year round.
Art at Quinta dos Vales
Anyone who visits the Quinta dos Vales winery and resort for the first time will immediately become familiar with a number of distinctive art forms. At that point, you don’t know what’s going on here. Once at the reception, you will continue to be surprised by large colored sculptures of animals and elephants hanging from the trees. Much of this art on the large complex was created by the owner of Quinta dos Vales, Karl Heinz Stock. It was his great desire to combine wine with art.
The most special part of the art collection is the ‘Dance of the Bears’. In this project, Karl Heinz Stock created largely similar yet unique sculptures and invited 26 talented painters and mosaic artists from different countries with different nationalities and backgrounds. Their task was to create their own interpretation of the theme Evolution. Only when you take a walk through the vineyard will you understand this better.
Discover the surroundings of Estombar – Lagoa
Quinta dos Vales is within walking distance of the village of Estômbar, which belongs to the municipality of Lagoa. And that Lagoa is now just one of the places where a number of the Algarve’s pearls lie. The highlights of Lagoa definitely include Praia Benagil (and the cave at Benagil), the beautiful beach Praia da Marinha, Praia do Carvoeiro, the lovely town of Ferragudo and the absolute highlight of the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. A 6-kilometer hike that starts at Praia da Marinha and continues to Praia de Vale Centianes.
The more touristic, but certainly no less pleasant, Portimão is less than 6 kilometers from Estômbar. Faro Airport is a 50-minute drive away. And for those who really want to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Algarve, you can watch the sunset in Praia de Carvoeiro. Sunset in the Algarve a stone’s throw from Quinta dos Vales. Everything is connected here.
Henk de Hooge
Henk is an internet entrepreneur, founder of Dutchcowboys and also a tech and travel blogger, photographer, visual storyteller and above all a digital nomad….