It is in the quiet, pure and simple Vila de Frades, south of the Serra de Portel, in the county of Vidigueira, Beja District, where Honrado Vineyards have developed its latest project.
In a space recently acquired to start the new project, recovered and restored to its original form, the company intends to show to the community and to the world the best of “Vinho de Talha”
The new space offers those who visit it a unique experience based on the empirical knowledge of the Honrado winemaking family. The desire to share ancient knowledge of how to produce wine a ancestral technique, the traditional tool, and the spirit of the winery implicit in each of the stages of winemaking, is the genesis of Honrado Vineyards’ project. Cella Vinaria Antiqua (Historical Wine Cellar), which was inaugurated on September 15, 2018, is housed in a century-old building that has always served as a winery.
The building was reshaped and restored, as far as possible, to its original state. The wine cellar that today presents itself as a visitable space results from Honrado family’s willingness to give back to the community a wine cellar faithful to the traditions of Vila de Frades - cellars for the production of “Vinhos de Talha”, using the “balsa” (massas/engaços), practices inseparable of their cultural identity.
The project began with a small intervention in the building to transform what remained of an old coffee shop that existed in that cellar until 2005. However, the removal of modern and deteriorated materials allowed to verify that the original design of the building, as well as the materials of primitive construction, retained their originality and were recoverable. From here the project gained another direction and the goal was to bring back a beautiful example of an old winery and its history.
From the review of some documentation that was available was found that in the 30's of the nineteenth century there were in Rua do Carrasco, the same one where this project is being developed, six wineries. Two of those wineries were from the Mira Franco family and correspond to the place where Honrado Vineyards did their recovery project and gave rise to Cella Vinaria Antiqua. In documents from the twentieth century, more precisely in a register of September 4,1940, describes the wineries as "Adega dos Vicentes". At this time the wineries go to the possession of the Guerra family that kept them until the early 80's. During this period the Wine Cellar also was a tavern. The production of “Vinho de Talha” would fall into disuse and the alternative to subsist was to create in the cellar a place to sell wine by the glass, the tavern would complement the winery. Production and consumption in the same place ensured the continuity of the economy and the social rituals associated with wine. After the Guerra family left the art of wine production and the tavern, it was the Casimiro, Carrasco and Fontes families who took possession of the building, but they always gave it the same use - wine cellar and tavern or, in recent years, coffee shop. Finally, the building goes to the Honrado family, who had the opportunity to restore it to the old form and function.
At Cella Vinaria Antiqua, the goal is to develop an enotourism project in a century-old building with a history associated with generations and generations of winemakers and innkeepers, based on the characteristics of the primitive construction, which are important to know in order to understand all the spirit implicit in the art of create “Vinho de Talha”.