Start your weekend off right and head to the idyllic Morgado do Quintão de Lagoa for an art and wine workshop this Friday!
Join Morgado do Quintão with their latest artist-in-residence, Alexandria Coe from London, who will host an art and wine workshop on the 18and February from 11 a.m.
The workshop is a life-drawing session that follows a wine tasting and three-course Portuguese lunch at the beautiful Morgado do Quintão in Lagoa. It was great to discover this hidden gem and I can see why it is an Algarve landmark. I was greeted by Duarte Rito of Morgado do Quintão, who graciously gave a tour of the family’s tranquil and idyllic farm and vineyard.
The history of Morgado do Quintão
Duarte shared with me the fantastic history of the farm and the vineyards, “This farm is one of the oldest farms in the Algarve and was once one of the largest farms in the Algarve and we maintain the tradition of wine production and we plan to start with olive oil production We have modernized the way we do things but still kept our roots and a lot of what has been done in the past.
“The farmhouse was created by the Count of Silves, Silves being the capital of the Algarve before being Faro and this farmhouse has remained in this family for generations, even until today.”
In 2016 Teresa Pereira Caldas de Vasconcellos was the owner of Morgado do Quintão and when she died her son Filipe Caldas de Vasconcellos became the current owner. “He decided he wanted to keep the farm in the family but made a few changes including the fact that everything has gone organic, they don’t use herbicides or pesticides and have low human intervention when it comes to their wine. ” They have had great success with their wines and in just “four years they have gone from producing 2,000 to 20,000 bottles per year”. Plus, what also makes this place so special is that they have accommodation that has proven to be very popular; “they have three houses two of which can accommodate eight people and the main house can accommodate up to 10 people.” Duarte further told me that “they have handled the pandemic well because of how isolated each house is and they are fully equipped for a family to live in, a place where guests have felt safe and they can even enjoy having their own garden and swimming pool.” He added that they organize many events here including weddings and birthdays, explaining that “we have these events in the low season because we have a lot of guests who stay at our accommodation in the summer, adding that we already have fourteen weddings planned for this year.”
Morgado do Quintão’s link with art
Duarte told me that “Filipe’s mother was an experimental contemporary artist and teacher, who taught art classes and whose work had a deep connection to the land.” His children want to maintain this link and open the doors of artistic creation. They wanted to bring that to the farm, so we started artist-in-residence programs where artists do workshops and “it connects to their wine labels because we invite the artist to draw and design our labels and every year we are changing one of our wine labels to have a piece of art from Filipe’s mother.”
What to expect from this workshop?
I then had the pleasure of speaking with artist Alexandria Coe who told me that she gave nature drawing lessons at retreats and in different locations in London. She explained that “it will be a similar class but as we are in the Algarve it could be a bit more organic which anyone can do as it is just how to draw a body and it is not for people. artists although you can still enjoy it as an artist.
“The point of the class is that drawing like an artist is drawing what you see so there isn’t really a skill, it’s just that you can look with your eyes and draw what you actually see. in front of you and to do that you need to relax, to warm up, maybe a glass of wine could help You need people to relax a bit and the idea is that you can draw in a way neutral and you can draw without the pretense because it’s just a naked body.” It’s the ability to just be interested in what you’re looking at and for it to be a really good drawing you have to concentrate and look, then as you gain more confidence, the drawings can be really confident.”
“It’s a traditional life drawing course in the subject and there will be some exercises, which get people in a really creative mood and don’t take themselves too seriously. Then we walk through the class and it should be really nice and no one is judging what someone else is doing and I sometimes give examples. The idea is that you’ll end up with a few simple line drawings and I’m teaching a way that I think anyone can end up with that in the end.
“From someone who is not artistic you could say that you draw a naked body and they have a lot more connotations than you do, like that’s sexual, it’s sexualized and I’m like it’s was just a naked body, you were naked when you were born or when you take a shower in the morning.
Morgado do Quintao wine
Duarte told me that they are in “a really privileged place for wine production and their soil facilitates our roots, their vineyard is dry and not dependent on water. They also have many fruit trees around the farm, which is why their wines will always be fruitier and have floral notes. Their wines are unique, with a touch of modernity, in fact instead of making a rosé wine they have a “Palhete” wine and instead of the red wine they have a “Clarete”. Later we did a wine tasting which I can confirm was a delightful experience and their wine surpasses any wine I have tried in the Algarve so it is so good I would urge wine lovers to discover them.
They sell their refreshing wines on the farm, Duarte telling me that “they are available for purchase after the foodie events they do, they pair them with a wine tasting, which is done daily, but you can also contact directly to order your favorite wine. ” “In terms of distribution, they sell their wines at Apolónia and selected out of licenses and in many restaurants. Our wines are also sold internationally, where we have distributors in England, France and New York. We plan to increase our production; we currently have 14 hectares and would like to expand to seven more and we are planting a new vineyard in March.
For more information on Morgado do Quintão, please visit https://www.morgadodoquintao.pt/ where you can book your space for this week’s workshop under “Experiences” on their website. You can also call +351 965 202 529 or send an email to [email protected] For more information about Alexandria Coe, please visit https://alexandriacoe.com.