From my sister’s garden in Columbia County, NY, a dimantina clematis.d
We tasted a 20-year-old tawny port during the tour of Quinta de Vilar D`Allen near Porto, Portugal. The Villar d’Allen Manor has belonged to the Allen family since 1839, when John Allen, an English businessman, bought it in a public auction. The 18th and 19th century house and gardens harken back to romanticism and grandeur. A series of formal gardens are full of flowers, especially camelias, many very old varieties. The Allen family provides guided tours to the House and Gardens and wine tasting. Mr. Allen blends and bottles his own port. The property, one of the few surviving leisure manors that surrounded the city of Porto in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was designated a Building of Public Interest in 2010. The Allen’s are gracious and welcoming hosts, very proud of their heritage and their gardens.
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Pergola in late 19th century Parque Dom Pedro Infante (City Park), Aveiro, Portugal.
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Records from as early as 1671 document wine production on what is now Quinta da Aveleda. For over 300 years the Guedes family has tended the land, developing beautiful gardens as well as vinho verde and other wines. Aveleda first bottled wine in 1870.
While the family no longer lives in the 17th-century house full-time, it is used for family events.
The gardens wind through a lush forest with follies, water features, and even a goat tower, with goats. A 200- year-old eucalyptus towers over the garden.
Roses, azaleas, rhododendrans, camelias, and other flowering trees paint streaks of color against the lush greens.
Aveleda uses only grapes native to Portugal in its wine production. It is one of the three major Portuguese labels, making a variety of wines including aguardent, a type of brandy.
The Quinta is located near Penafiel, about 40 km from Porto. Guided tours of the gardens and wine tastings are available. The beautiful peacock will greet you at the tasting room.