Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Wine Chronicles | Wine Sunset Party and a Cruise on Sado River

Sunset parties became a hit these last few years. Add to that some great wine and food, music, good company while cruising along the beautiful shores of Arrábida, in Portugal, and you will have some very well spend hours.

Last Saturday, I was invited by Sado Arrábida for one of its wine cruises, departing from Setúbal. The 2 and a half hours cruise starts late in the afternoon and its a real sunset party with DJ on board, a nice sun deck to relax (or dance), great regional food and a wine tasting from some of the best regional wine producer.

The city of Setúbal is less than an hour away from Lisbon, going South, and visiting it and the Arrábida region can be a great day trip from the Portuguese capital. This Wine Sunset Party can be a perfect way to end up your day before returning to Lisbon. The ship crosses de river Sado to Tróia peninsula and then sales close to Arrábida coast before returning to Setúbal.

During the party, food and drinks are served and we had the opportunity to taste some delicious regional cheese, charcuteries, and bread, seasonal fruits like grapes and cherries were also available. The wine tasting, held by the winery Venâncio Costa Lima presented 4 wines: a refreshing white -Vale Pereiro (Fernão Pires, Setúbal Muscat), an innovative red - 4ª Geração (Castelão, Syrah), a sweet Moscatel de Setúbal - Moscatel de Setúbal 2013 (Setúbal's Muscat), and my favorite - Moscatel Roxo 2013 (check all the information below). Not long since this tasting, Moscatel Roxo 2013 as winning the award for the Best Muscat Wine in the World. Congrats Venâncio Costa Lima Winery!

Cruising along the Arrábida coast we can see small white sand beaches and coves and several historical buildings.  Some of the more striking views are from the Fort of Santiago and Palácio da Comenda. The Fort of Santiago can have its origins in a Roman temple dedicated to Neptune that stayed in the same place. The first historical reference, however, dates to 1390 and can be found in an order of King D. João I to build an inshore watchtower. Over the centuries, it was expanded and remodeled and in the 20th century, after being jail and vacation home of the royal family, the fort was given to Queen D. Amelia for installing there a sanatorium.

Closer to Setúbal the graceful Palácio da Comenda catches our eyes. The volumetric of the building, the pale yellow walls, the contrast of the bougainvillea flowers on the porch, all combines with the woods surrounding the building. The stories around the palace, built in the beginning of the 20th century and currently abandoned, are immense and some famous visitors to the house are usually named. It's the case of Jacqueline Kennedy that is supposed to have been a guest to Palácio da Comenda, in 1963 after the assassination of President Kennedy and of Truman Capote the famous American writer.

On our trip we also had the opportunity to take a good look at the Portuguese Navy's ship "Creoula", a four-masts lugger, built in 1937, to sail as a cod fishing ship in the icy seas of Newfoundland and Greenland. Currently is a training ship, with the purpose of fostering young people's attachment to the sea.

After two hours, the sun was setting behind the hills and we head back to Setúbal. After a few glasses of wine, the spirits were high and everyone was in a good mood. People dancing and laughing while sipping the last glass of wine were the picture of a well spent afternoon. Just one thing was missing to be perfect. 99% of the times, a group of dolphins follows the ship, jumping and playing in the water. This time, we were among the unhappy 1% that are not fortunate to enjoy their appearance. If I needed any excuse to come back to Sado river, this seems to be a very plausible one to me.

These Wine Sunset Parties are organized by Sado Arrábida and the Wine Route of Setúbal's Peninsula and take place every Saturday from June to September. Start at 18:30 and end at 21:00.

Wine Sunset Party 

Information and Reservations:
Cell Phone: (+351) 915 560 342

Adults: 30,00 € | Children (until 12 years old): 17,50 €.


  1. Now that is a river cruise! Shame about the dolphins, but everything else sounds perfect.

  2. Wow, this sounds like a great experience. I love that it was wine tasting instead of just a cruise where there are a few types of wine available. It's always fun to try and sample new wines. Looks there were some nice, interesting sights to see along the way too.

  3. Looks amazing! What's better than wine on a BOAT?! I love it. Pinned it too!

  4. Cruise lines continue to offer more and more sophisticated programming. Many cruise lines offer informative shipboard talks by famous lecturers on a variety of topics.

  5. Oh,haven't tried this one in Portugal, and it sounds lovely. Amazing scenery around as well, and who can say no to one nice glass of wine and a cruise! :D

  6. Wine and a cruise - sounds like perfect combination!

  7. Gorgeous! And for just 30 euros, amazing!! Really unfamiliar with this area so to explore by boat sounds brilliant!

  8. Sunset with wine with cruise with such an amazing view, all for 30 euros? That's incredible! Also, the port and the lighthouse looks like a castle tower! Very well written article with so many tips! Thanks Maria!


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