Isn’t this a beauty – and it might look a bit familiar…..

This is Palácio de Mateus in northern Portugal. In the 1940’s, a local company – developing a new wine – approached the owners of the Mateus estate for rights to the name and image. The story goes that they offered a lump sum up front or would pay a royalty of half an escudo on every bottle sold. The family went for the royalty but changed their minds a few days later and accepted a lump sum – BAD move!!! (At its height, the company was selling some 50 million bottles a year!!!)

Another piece of trivia – the famous building is not actually a palace – according to Portuguese law,  royalty needs to spend a night in a building before the title ‘palace’ can be designated.

26 thoughts on “THURSDAY DOORS

  1. If I had a penny for all the bottles of the stuff I drank when it was at the height of its popularity, I’d be a rich woman today. Well, bit of an exaggeration there, I’m not quite such a lush! And after emptying the bottle it became a candle-holder, always a red candle, and thus began what we considered our romantic, bohemian life. God bless Mateus for putting me on the road to loving wine!

    1. We thought we were SO cool!!! It was up there with Blue Nun and Golden Oktober! And candles in that lovely bottle – ah the good ole days!!

    1. It’s a beautiful house. And it was at the start of our trip – the joy of sitting outdoors with a glass of ANYTHING definitely marks the start of a vacation for us!

  2. I guess, in this case, the bird in the hand wasn’t as good as they thought. It’s a beautiful building and lovely grounds. Thanks for the photos and interesting history.

    1. Ah – sure we’re all wise after the event!!! It’s a beautiful house but most visitors – including ourselves – are drawn there because of the name and image (so they’re still making a bit of money out of it!!)

  3. What a beautiful place. I wonder if the Mateus family found solace in a glass or two when they realised how it all played out?

    1. Imagine what it was like when they eventually realised!! I’d say they drowned their sorrows in their own cellars rather than supporting the Mateus label!!!

    1. A lot of Irish go to Portugal for sun holidays but, apart from a weekend in Lisbon, this was our only trip there to date – we spent about 10/12 days in the north of the country, finishing up in Porto… loved it all –

  4. Wow! Absolutely glorious! Yes, a glass of (almost) anything would go down a treat here. Blue Nun made me smile. In our part of the world, there was Strawberry Hill and Mogen David 20-20 aka MD20-20. I didn’t really drink much of anything, even after turning 21, during which time I was in Europe where it didn’t matter. Friends with money upped our wine appreciation and I’m also a dark beer lover these days. As for wine, I go with dry and definitely NOT sweet. 🙂 Thanks for the memories and the beauty of this place.


    1. Well I couldn’t visit without sampling!!! There was a lovely little cafe right across the road – I’d say they do great business – we were delighted to get a table outside and just people watch for a while in the sun while enjoying the product..

  5. If only the walls of Palácio de Mateus could tell the tales of all they’ve seen. I very much enjoyed a tour of Palacio de Mateus and its gardens, Marie. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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