Fernando Melo, 56, has a degree in Technological Physics Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico (Higher Technical Institute) (1988), and has been a wine and food critic since 1995. He is a permanent contributor to the monthly magazine Vinho Grandes Escolhas, the weekly magazine Evasões and the newspapers Jornal de Notícias and Diário de Notícias. He regularly participates in national and international juries of wine, olive oil and traditional products competitions. He is co-author of the Restaurants of Portugal Guide and devotes much of his time to undergraduate and post-graduate training at higher education institutions in the areas of oenogastronomy, catering, food history and regional products.
A gastronomic adventure in the Algarve
I had the privilege of getting to know the Algarve early on, first with my family during holiday periods, and from the age of 17 by myself and in the company of friends.
It was at this stage that I had the privilege of seeing and feeling it more closely. The beach resorts that were open all year round were the meeting points of the locals, as well as places of excellence in seafood, fish and ancestral recipes.
The extreme beauty of the windward and leeward beaches in the off-season. Direct contact with the fish markets, fishermen and cooks and, through so many of whom I became lifelong friends, the founding nature of Algarve cuisine in all our regional gastronomies.
There have been veritable quantum leaps in my Algarve history, and I have no hesitation in choosing the discovery of the fabulous Barrocal as the most extraordinary of all those I hold dear to my heart.
There are countless dishes of sea-land fusion that we owe to the prodigious interface between the sea and the mountains. I became a fan of broths and soups, which are entirely simple in origin but so intense in flavour. And it didn’t take long for me to surrender to the charm and excellence of what the sea gives every day and which, in homes, turns into gold every day. More recently, I have intensified the recipe survey around the cataplana and it continues to be one of the most relevant focal points in my gastronomic adventure in the Algarve.
The local sweets are also remarkable and it’s a track I want to explore in more depth. And the excellence of the wines, which are once again in the limelight, as if animated by an immanent telluric force of which we should all become attentive spectators. A subject for a lifetime.
Explore the region
Discover the experiences that Algarve region has to offer
A dive into the vineyards of Quinta da Tôr
It is possible to experience the harvest, which includes cutting the grapes, visit the winery, participate in the traditional foot treading and enjoy a delicious traditional lunch with a view over the vineyards and a dip in the pool.
Visit LIR - Art Gallery at the Adega Cooperativa do Algarve
Única is the last of the 4 Cooperative Wineries that once existed in the Algarve. It receives grapes from all corners of the Algarve, from the windward to the leeward, through the Barrocal.
Wine Cellar Dining Experience
Our well-versed sommeliers guide guests through the nuanced flavours of various vintages during wine and cheese tastings, complemented by traditional Portuguese tapas, homemade bread and olive oil from Herdade dos Grous, VILA VITA Parc’s own farm and vineyard in the Alentejo.
Join In On Our Farmers Table
Gather under our 2.000 year-old tree overlooking old Negramole vines, inside our vintage olive press or inside the Main House for a tasting of four of our wines from the estate and a simple menu inspired by Algarvian ingredients and our family recipes