Notably a small vineyard and winery is also here – but instead of Mateus wine, they make Port wine on the palace grounds. You can also purchase Port wine – but not Mateus wine – in a gift shop. This is because despite the Palace gracing the label, and thereby seeming synonymous with the rosé, it actually has very little to do with the famous varietal itself.
Once one of the world’s most popular wines, Mateus was invented in 1942 and was all the rage in the 1970s. Queen Elizabeth requested it. Jimi Hendrix was photographed drinking it out of a bottle. Elton John sang about it in his 1973 song “Social Disease.” It even made an appearance in the classic film, Animal House (in the home of Professor Dave Jennings, as played by Donald Sutherland).
Medium light pink, slightly fizzy with good freshness and balance and a nice floral aroma, Mateus offers a slightly watermelon, dried raspberry taste. A blend of about 10 different red grape varieties (all native to the Douro region) go into the wine -- including Baga, Rufete, Tinta Barroca and Touriga Franca grapes.
And while the only connection Mateus wine has with Mateus Palace is the label, it is still quite a treat to visit this exquisite palace. Not to mention a delicious excuse to taste some Mateus wine and bring back fond memories – or create new ones!