Gathering under the trees, there was time for a catchup with old friends while sampling the delights of Guadalupe Rosé and Branco from Quinta do Quetzal, producers of the wines presented throughout the lunch. General Manager Reto Jörg, visiting from the estate near Vidigueira in the Alentejo, explained its history – Quetzal was established by lovers of wine and art the DeBruin family from the Netherlands. The winery they built houses not only the production facility but also a restaurant and art gallery, a destination for visitors to the Alentejo.

A chance to make new friends over lunch.

The lunch began with a jumbo prawn salad with passion fruit vinaigrette, paired with Guadelupe Winemaker’s Selection Branco and the Quetzal Reserva Branco accompanied the fish course. Although in such a rural location, the standard of cuisine provided by Luis and Andrea Pequeno at O Barradas is always excellent and showed itself to the full in a flavoursome main course of lamb fillet in port wine sauce, served alongside two premium reds, with the Quetzal Reserva Tinto being a particular treat.

The shady garden at O Barradas is perfect for lunch.

Steve Rigby (AWS), Reto Jörg (Quetzal), Luis Pequeno (O Barradas) and Soraya Vaz (Quetzal)

Reto Jörg explained that, due to climate change, not only is harvest happening up to a month earlier than a few years ago, but wineries are all having to consider planting more hot climate varieties in order that the winery will still be viable in ten years’ time. One such variety might be Alicante Bouschet, a favourite in the Alentejo and the basis of the Quetzal Rich Red dessert wine, enjoyed by the group alongside walnut parfait and chocolate mousse.

A chance to make new friends over lunch.

The jumbo prawn starter made for a happy group.

O Barradas restaurant is well known for the quality of its fresh fish – what a whopper!

The Algarve Wine Society next meets for a day trip to Ribafreixo winery in the Alentejo on 4 October.

Quinta do Quetzal’s website can be found at, the wines are available via Garrafeira Baco in Loulé and more information on the AWS is available at