The Colares Fairytale
By: Lauren Mowery
Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, where the edge of the earth kissed the sea, sat a castle. Perched high on a mountain, this pastel-hued palace looked down upon stark cliffs that plunged into the rumbling ocean, upon which grew precious vines. Both royals and locals prized the vines for their fine fruit and ability to thrive in inhospitable conditions: drenching autumn rains; salt-laden, gale-force winds; mist-shrouded mornings, scorching summer heat and soil as sandy as the beach below. It was also one of the only vineyards in the world to resist a scourge that destroyed the majority of Europe’s vines–the aphid known as phylloxera.
No, I am not recounting a vinous fairytale. This little vineyard that could still survives in the Colares region (pronounced ko-larsh) of Portugal near the dreamy castle of Sintra 45 minutes north of Lisbon. Sadly, these hardy, still-ungrafted vineyards, cultivated as far back as year 1154 and once known as the “Bordeaux of Portugal,” now face their greatest threat: real estate development.
Read more at Village Voice.