History — Quinta da Lapa


Quinta da Conceição da Lapa was acquired in 1706 by D. Lourenço de Almeida from Captain Bartolomeu Lobo da Gama for the sum of 11.500 (silver) crusades. On a unique location, the best land was chosen among the fertile hills to the East of Montejunto mountain, a territory that is now part of the Tejo Wine Region. The estate of Quinta da Lapa now extends over a hundred hectares.

D. Lourenço, son of the Count of Avintes was the great reformer and developer of Quinta da Lapa, a powerful and influential nobleman – member of the Court’s Council and former governor of the States of Pernambuco and Minas Gerais in Brazil, at the height of the gold rush. He was credited with gathering great richesse for the vaults of the Portuguese Crown and returned home bearing great wealth. Making use of his entrepreneurial skills he projected to supply the then prosperous and thriving city of Lisbon,  with high quality wines. To that purpose he chose the highest ground of his vast estate to build a manor house with its chapel, farming buildings and an important wine cellar in order to produce the best wines from the surrounding vineyards.


This reform dates from 1733 and almost three centuries later the estate underwent yet another much needed improvement which entailed building a new winery and replanting the vineyards both with traditional local varietals and a selection of international grapes that best thrive in our terroir.

Years later, the manor house dating from 1756, underwent important restoration works and was refurbished in order to accommodate guests in a comfortable and luxurious setting, all while preserving it’s original features and patrimonial values, namely the chapel and a unique tile panel in honour of Our Lady of Conceição da Lapa.

The outcome of this tenacious and enduring work translates into the great notoriety that the wines of Quinta da Lapa have been gathering in recent years. Our wines have consistently earned important medals and awards at both international and domestic wine competitions.



Winegrowing is introduced to Portugal by greek settlers hailing from Tartessus.

Cartaxo (a nearby town) is to have exported 500 shiploads of wine barrels which in a single year ammounted to 12.000 portuguese “reals”.

During the “golden age” that ensued the portuguese Discoveries, the ships and galleons sailing towards Brasil and the far East carried a variety of products among which was wine. A this time a new type of wine became popular - it known as “Roda” or “Torna-Viagem” (“round-trip” wines). It was found that after generally six long months stocked in the galleys of ships, shaken by waves, exposed to sun and tempest, at times even submerged under water gathered in the hulls... wines actually tasted much better! Such distinctive ageing result was made possible by the heat withstood from twice crossing the Equator line and of course the fact that wine barrels where subject to a constant rocking motion, which made these wines unique, precious, and as such sold for trully fabulous sums.

Birth of D. Lourenço de Almeida, 3rd son to the Count of Avintes, the brother to yet another and to the bishop and future Patrairch, Dom Tomás de Almeida, he was Commander of São Miguel de Borba and Godim within the Order of Christ.

Nascimento de D. João V a 22 de Outubro, “o Magnânimo”, Rei de Portugal e dos Algarves, cujo reinado (1706-1750) foi marcado pela descoberta das minas auríferas, que deram o nome ao Estado de Minas Gerais no Brasil, e pelo estabelecimento do Tratado de Methuan.

Marriage of D. Lourenço de Almeida to his cousin Dona Maria Rosa de Portugal, in India where he served as Military Commander-in-Chief.

Signature of the Treaty of Methuen, upon which England grants a special regime to wines imported from Portugal and temporarily embargoes the import of spanish and french wines.

D. Lourenço de Almeida returns to the Kingdom of Portugal.

D. Lourenço de Almeida and his spouse acquire the estate of Quinta da Lapa from Captain Bartolomeu Lobo da Gama for the sum of 11 500 portuguese “cruzados”. In that same year D. Lourenço is appointed to the important position of Governor of Pernambuco in Brasil, proceding to hold the much coveted and profitable post as Governor of Minas Gerais. Such an important political and military carrier granted D. Lourenço de Almeida a seat at the Council of State, certainly supported by his family who held great influence at Lisbon’s Court.

Vicencio Alarte publishes “Agriculture of the grapevines, and all that concerns them, towards the perfect harvest of wine, and relation to it’s virtues, and the trunk, cordons, leaves and lees”, Portugal’s first treaty on winemaking.

D. Lourenço de Almeida rules as Governor of the State of Pernambuco, in Brasil.

D. Lourenço is Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, in Brasil. On his initiative, the state capital is moved from Vila do Carmo, nowadays Mariana, to the city of Vila Rica, later named Ouro Preto, a richer and more important dwelling.

First great reform of Quinta da Lapa by D. Lourenço de Almeida and installation of an “azulejo” tile panel allusive to “Our Lady of the Conception of Lapa”.

Na vila vizinha de Alcoentrinho, hoje Manique do Intendente, nasce Diogo Inácio de Pina Manique (1733- 1805), uma figura marcante do absolutismo português no tempo de D. José e de D. Maria I. Entre outros cargos ligados à justiça foi Intendente Geral da Polícia, cargo em que ganhou especial relevância na época. Tinha para a vila numa tentativa de a tornar grandiosa, um grande projecto onde se incluía um enorme palácio. Entretanto, o seu afastamento do cargo de Intendente e depois a sua morte, acabaram por impedir a concretização do projecto e consequentemente o palácio ficou inacabado.

Signing of the first trading contract concerning the wines of Quinta da Lapa and Quinta da Prata, between D. Lourenço de Almeida and his servant João Rodrigues Nogueira, at his palace on Rua Direita de São Lázaro in Lisbon. The documents use the “almude” , an old portuguese liquid measure which corresponded to 16.58 liters in the region of Lisbon. The also mentioned measure of “barrel” could contain from 21 to 25 “almudes” or nowadays from 348 to 414 liters, varying from region to region. Each barrel was then worth around a thousand two hundread “reals”.

Signing of the second trading contract concerning the wines of Quinta da Lapa and Quinta da Prata, between D. Lourenço de Almeida and a merchant from Lisbon named João Milhão, which allowed this las tone to use the palace’s wharehouses to store the wine barrels shipped from the Quintas. Although we are not able to establish the total amount of wine produce by both estates, this had to have been an important volume, so as to justify the signature of such contracts.

Date on the Inaugural Stone place above the main entrance of the Manor House at Quinta da lapa, which also bears Saint Theresa of Avila’s beautiful and eternal poem of faith: “Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

First demarcation of the Douro wine region, ordered by the Marquis of Pombal.

The Mrquis of Pombal orders the uprooting of all vineyards planted on the fields surrounding the Tagus river.

First ocurrence of “oidium” (powdery mildew) in Portugal’s vineyards.

Phyloxera is spotted for the first time in Portugal (in the Douro region).

The Wine Region of Ribatejo is formally constituted through the Administrative Reform.

The Junta Nacional do Vinho (National Wine Junta) is created to replace the “Federeation of Viticultors of the Center and South of Portugal”, launch of the slogan “To drink wine is to guarantee the daily bread of a million Portuguese citizens”.

The World Congress of the “Office International du Vin” takes place in Lisbon under the slogan “Portugal is the land of Sun and golden grapes”.

Creation of the “Instituto da Vinha e do Vinho” (Institute of Vineyards and Wine) in replacement of the Junta Nacional do Vinho (National Wine Junta)

Acquisition of Quinta da Lapa by José Guilherme Costa.

Creation of the “Comissão Vitivinícola Regional do Tejo” (Regional Viticulture Comission of Ribatejo).

Creation of the “Comissão Vitivinícola Regional do Tejo” (Regional Viticulture Comission of Tejo).

Creation of the “Tejo Wine Route”.

“Quinta da Lapa Reserva 2008” red, is bestowed with the “Best in Show” award the “Medal of Prestige” at Portugal’s “National Competition of Bottled Wines”, today’s “Wine’s of Portugal Challenge”.

Quinta da Lapa’s Wine Hotel is open to the public.

Launch of Quinta da Lapa’s premium wine “Homenagem a Santa Teresa de Àvila” (Tribute to Saint Teresa of Àvila), to commemorate the Saint’s 500th birth year.

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