From the giant walls directing the narrow Serpa Pinto street that traverses the ancient city of Gaia, one could never imagine that hidden behind them would be a place preserving the marks of a family’s past and their legacy in wine production. Niepoort is wine a cellar that had its beginnings in the 19th century and has since kept its shelves not only filled with bottles but also with devotion.
We entered through the heavy wooden door, where we were greeted with smiles and a promise in the eyes. Soon we were introduced to an environment with very little light and as we walked along the barrel-lined corridors we could sense the sweet aroma in the air. There, we had the first procedures explained to us and learned about the generations that have perpetuated the business.
This person who writes these words is not one to be called a wine connoisseur (what I know is how to appreciate its flavors), but that’s the thing – you don’t need to be a lover of the beverage to be enchanted by this journey through time that is offered to us. From the damp walls, family photographs, document folders and notes, wooden furniture to the small office, the first bottles and the first corkscrews – everything in Niepoort is preserved, giving us the feeling that we are teleported into the film of their memories.
To conclude this journey, we had a wine tasting, just to prove that this cellar undoubtedly has its reasons to preserve its productions and stay in the market as one of the best and most authentic in Portugal. For those in the city of Porto, it’s worth doing a tasting at this place and I no longer need to explain further.
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