What is a “white lie”?
Simply put it is an action of stretching the truth to an acceptable state. Acceptable enough means having something in common with the facts. The white lie is a great marketing strategy. The borderline between the actual lie and the truth is very very thin, and the whole thing is not a lie entirely. But it is not the truth either… All depends on the interpretation really. Like with Vida Nova and Onda Nova – the wines signed by Sir Cliff Richard. Indicating by his signature that they were created at his vinery, from the grapes grew on his vineyard, and he was the sole creator of this delicious beverage. Adega do Cantor is a perfect example of using a white lie strategy as a marketing tool. Not very successfully though, as it seems that the Birch family is thinking about selling the whole estate…
When we have arrived at the vinery at the beginning of October, we saw the vineyard belonging to the Birch family, Quinta do Miradouro. Adega do Cantor was established in the heart of this vineyard, surrounded by the grapes, unfortunately ill at that time. The dominant colours were dirty green and light brown. Rather dreary sign.
The Adega do Cantor or Winery of the Singer (yes, lets stretch the white lie a little bit further) is situated at Guia, a few kilometres northwest of Albufeira in the middle of the Algarve.
It was built to produce wine, from three surrounding Quintas, Quinta do Moinho (belonging to Sir Cliff), Quinta do Miradouro and Vale do Sobreiro.
The views from the winery are truly stunning. The coastline is clearly visible and if your eyes are good enough you are able to spot Sir Cliff’s cottage and his part of the winery.
As we were told during the fantastic tour, Sir Cliff Richard started growing figs at first, when he bought his estate.
Then in 1997 he has partnered with the Birch family and decided to grow grapes. According to the website Quinta do Moinho provided the genesis point for the Vida Nova range of wines. But according to our lovely guide, all the Vida Nova and Onda Nova wines available in the shops now are made from the grapes which are grew on the Birch family estate only.
Quinta do Miradouro, belonging to the Birch family, has been planted in 2001, along much the same lines as Quinta do Moinho, which belongs to Sir Cliff.
They went all scientific with the growing of the grapes, employing David Booth and Dr. Richard Smart, who helped select the grape varieties, the rootstocks and vineyard management system. And I must admit – they did a very good job! The Vida Nova and the Onda Nova are incredibly tasty, smooth and full of flavours, quite high in alcohol volume as well! The deadline for the wine is 15% really, and the wines produced here are about 14%.
The most fantastic thing about this place, despite a little white lie looming around, is the wine created here.
Even though the owners try to keep at the top of the industry updating the technology, they are able to produce only about 250 000 bottles per season. In the wine industry this is not much. It is more like a home/individual sales scale, rather than industrial production. But perhaps this is the reason for the wine to be of such a good quality? You almost feel that every drop of it is carefully monitored and checked before it will land in the bottle and in the shops.
You can book the tour here, but there is nothing preventing you from visiting the shop and just buy some wine directly from the vineyard.
The tour costs 7.50 euro per person and it’s worth it! If you are staying nearby, you can arrange for the vineyard to be picked up, so you can responsibly enjoy the testing session during the tour. This is one of the things I strongly recommend doing, if you are in the Algarve. Even though the whole story is padded with a little bit of a white lie, the wine is defiantly worth it.