The North of Portugal in its quintessential earthiness invites you to Monverde – Wine Experience Hotel, the pioneering regional wine hotel of the Vinho Verde route, spread across 30 hectares, of which 22 are set aside for production of grapes. It emerged as an extension idea of the Wine Tourism Service of Quinta Da Lixa.
If you are waiting to immerse yourself into a world of tradition, taste and nature, the vineyards found in Telões-Amarante will fascinate you with their incredible grape varieties. Avesso, Touriga Nacional, Vinhão, Arinto and Loureiro are just a few on the list. Moreover, the hotel demonstrates a penchant for both enotourism and eco-tourism.
The refuge of earthy colours and the olive green façade which effortlessly blends into the landscape was designed and built to be environmentally friendly. The façades are majorly made of granite. Almost 85% of the stone used in the building was retrieved from the old walls and houses on the property.
Low environmental impact inks have been used both inside and outside, with solar panels placed in a manner to derive maximum renewable energy. The main house which lies stretched behind a façade of pine, schist and Cor-Ten steel has huge glass frames that capture the landscape.
The four levels comprise the lobby and reception, a gastronomic space, a hospitable bar, a lovely spa, in addition to conference areas and a winery. It boasts of a spectacularly curved fermentation room with big oak barrels, reminiscent of the signature architectural style of Fernando Coelho and Paulo Lobo.
The lobby where a kinetic installation welcomes the guests has metallic cedar leaves carefully engraved with smiling faces; a tribute to the relentless work of the region’s labourers. However, one needs to climb the balcony to catch a glimpse of the 25 foot high sky-lit lobby and witness the details.
For the irrigation of the vineyards and the gardens, a water reuse system has been built. The ‘ecological wine experience’ is well inscribed into the whole process. This has undeniably been possible due to the genius collaboration of the distinguished architect Fernando Coelho and the designer Paulo Lobo. What they have created is an architectural merge of a rustic old feel and an urbane receptivity.
They are the proud winners of awards in the following categories: Great Wine Capitals 2016 and Best of Wine Tourism-Global Winner-Architecture and Landscapes. Monverde assimilates the scenic and the sensory impressions of vineyards within the architecture. It is perhaps a good idea to touch upon the experience of gastronomy and spa.
The dining experience curated by Chef Agostihno Martins not only introduces one to the fascinating Portuguese cuisine, but also offers the view of two conspicuous wine cellars on the horizon – a cellaret built into the wall displaying wines from different regions of the country and another one, under the stars, modeled on the monumental vineyards of Quinta da Lixa. To mention a few, Monverde offers sparkling wine, liqueur wine, fortified wine, aguardente, biological, organic and bio-dynamic varieties.
The Monverde Spa with its old world magic of vinotherapy has over 20 treatments to energise as well as relax your senses. It is up to you to indulge in the indoor facilities, or the outdoor ones interspersed with the ancient knowledge and the feel of the vineyard.
It is a perfect opportunity to get lost into the myriad colours and fragrances; an integral part of a traditional wine production set up. Not to forget the hot baths with citrus and spice aromas! The range is definitely substantial and may be explored alone or with a special someone.
Monverde re-affirms that Fernando Coelho and Paulo Lobo are a team that intrigues tourists with their fascinating imaginations while maintaining the ecological undercurrents, time and again.
Text By Sebanti Chatterjee
Photographs Courtesy Monverde – Wine Experience Hotel