Casa de Mateus

It’s 10 years since we were last in the Douro region, with limited time and on public transport. The drive from Amarante was glorious. Avoiding the toll roads we swept high into the hills, my ears popping and eyes thrilled at the bright yellow gorse and pink heather that clothed them. Bypassing Vila Real, we sought out the rural beauty that is Casa de Mateus. Though Mateus Rose wine is far from being a favourite, I wanted to see the iconic house and gardens that grace each bottle. They were every bit as splendid as expected.

Our primary interest was the gardens, but a half hour tour of the house was conducted with humour by a personable young man, who obviously enjoyed his job. Chinoiserie and exotic tables and cabinets graced many of the rooms, but it was the richness of colour and carvings of the chestnut wood ceiling that impressed me most.

Outside the sun beamed a welcome, and the carefully trimmed hedges invited us to come and explore. We wandered among the statuary and intricately styled par terres, pausing to admire a ruby red rhododendron in all its glory.

Paths led in several directions, giving a lovely overview of the patterned terraces and out to the countryside beyond. Rosey camellia dotted the trees and, hiding in a nook, we were surprised to come upon a chorus of alpenhorns, filling the woods with sound.

We didn’t tour the vineyards, but contented ourselves with a stroll beneath the blossom. A couple of donkeys were oblivious to the beautiful crops they grazed beside, and to us.

Finally we returned to the front of the grand house, and the mirror lake with its emotive sculpture.

A description of the house and grounds is to be found here, but I thought you might like this video of the gardens. Although it’s in French it has English subtitles.

Onwards to an old friend, Peso da Regua, next and, later that day, lovely Lamego.

75 thoughts on “Casa de Mateus

  1. That is beautiful, both inside and out! We don’t drink Mateus Rose these days but when Chris and I first got together, 40+ years ago, we considered it very sophisticated to buy a bottle to have with our Sunday dinner πŸ˜†

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  2. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : kindness in Lamego | Still Restlessjo

  3. What wonderful gardens and the inside is great too
    And your little note about the guide who obviously enjoyed his job….
    That can be a mixed bag – at times it can be refreshing and fun – but too much can drain and suck the life out of the experience – lol

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      • Yes – beautiful surroundings indeed! And so nice when the guides aren’t crabby – we have had some museum tour guides that were aloof and a bit snobby (when maybe if they are going to be that way they should volunteer to fold pamphlets and let those with enthusiasm work with guests)
        πŸ˜Šβ˜€οΈ

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  4. I enjoyed this visit to Casa de Mateus very much, Jo. Your narrative was pleasant and mesmerizing, and I enjoyed the photos–details and vistas. Funny to see the alpenhorn gathering, I’m sure it was a surprise to hear!

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  5. Splendid tour, Jo. A fabulous house and gardens. I had entirely forgotten about Mateus Rose wine until your mention of it, but since it is alcoholic, I probably drank a fair bit in my youth!

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