Ever come across the sign for Howard’s Folly while driving through the industrial estate in Estremoz and wondered what the castle-like building is all about? Read on to find out more about Estemoz’ very own ‘urban winery’:
Founded in 2002, when Howard Bilton, a Hong Kong based entrepreneur and wine aficionado originally from Yorkshire, combined forces with David Baverstock, an Australian pioneer of modern winemaking who has revolutionised wine in Portugal by bringing the new world science to the old world wine industry. David is the only non-Portuguese national who has been awarded Winemaker of the Year, on three occasions, and he was recently created a Comendador (a style of knighthood) for his services to the agricultural industry. Howard, meanwhile, always had a soft spot for Portuguese wines and particularly those from the Alentejo region, and Howard’s Folly is the realisation of a long-cherished dream, with the main vineyard located in Portalegre in the heart of the Alentejo landscape. From here, several varietals are gathered and blended with grapes from local farmers to produce their alluring wines, most of this being accomplished at a state-of-the-art urban winery at Estremoz, a facility that is open to visitors for tours and tastings, with a wine shop and fine dining restaurant.