Every year around Midsummer, when Porto is celebrating São João, the Enthronement Ceremony of The Confraria do Vinho do
Porto and the
Rabelo Boat Regatta takes place. Last year I witnessed it for the first time
and this year we came back for the Ceremony and the Dinner again. Unfortunately we
had to go back home before the Regatta, so we did not see the boat from Dalva
win this years race.
Most wine regions have their Brotherhoods with different traditions. The Confraria do Vinho do
Porto was founded as late as 1982,
but is rich of tradition. The members, the Confrades, are both Brothers from
the Port companies and Honorary Brothers - the latter divided into three ranks:
Cancelários (Heads of States etc.), Infançãos (Noblemans) and Cavaleiros (people
dedicated to Port). Last year the late chairman of The Vintage Port Club was
introduced as Cavaleiro, which was the reason for our participation last year.
We found it an honour to be there came back this year.
The Ceremony takes place in the famous and beautiful Palácio da Bolsa. At first the five members of the Chancelaria (the Chancery) proceed into the Pátio das Nacões followed by the new Confrades. After the Ceremony where the new member are introduced and given an insignia and a diploma, everyone – Confrades and guests – are raising a glass of Port with the toast: “For Port Wine, for the Confraria, for the Confrades”.
After the Ceremony everyone is marching after the horse guard and the orchestra to the nearby Edífício da Alfàndega do
Porto for the reception
and Dinner. This is a nice ball and a great place to have a talk with old and
new friend in the Port Business. The menu this year was poached hake with cream
and clams, oxtail and pork cheek duo with puréed cauliflower and asparagus
ragout, Farófias (a traditional Portuguese dessert) and regional cheeses with
strawberry and pumpkin jelly. And of course it was served with wine and Port:
Vinho Branco Dalva Reserve 2012, Vinho Branco Tiara 2012 from Niepoort, Quinta
do Grifo Reserva Tinto 2010 from Rozès, Vinho Tinto Touriga Nacional 2009 from
Quinta do Noval, 20 Years Tawny Port from Confraria do Vinho do Porto and then
different Vintage Port from 1994. Among others I tried Fonseca, Taylor’s, Dalva
and Ramos Pinto.
As a Port lover and journalist writing about Port and
it is a great experience
to be among so many people dedicated to Port – and of course a lovely evening
with friends. I sure hope to be back
You can read more about the Confraria do Vinho do