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Copyright © 2016
by Fred McMillin
for August 24, 2000
How Cavemen Saved The Day
Modern man is running around Portugal, laughing
and scratching. Little does he realize, he will
save a great Port vineyard.
The Portuguese Electricity Authority decides to
build a dam which would partly submerge
Ramos-Pinto's prized Ervamoira Port-wine
vineyard. After several years of appeals, winemaker
Joao de Almeida abandons all hope as work on the
1995—Cavemen To The Rescue!
Not only are vines about to be submerged, but
some curious scratchings on stones will be
covered, too. Some archeologists took a look.
Wait! A little work revealed one of the finest
collections of stone-age art in Europe, dating
back to at least 25,000 B.C. The academic outcry
against flooding hundreds of prehistoric pictures
was deafening. The government relented and the
vineyard was saved, that produced nearly half of
the grapes for our...
Wine of the Day
Ramos-Pinto Vintage Port 1997, $49
The Worried Winemaker—Joao de Almeida is a
direct descendant of the two brothers that founded
Importer—Maisons Marques & Domaines, Michelle Armour or Tina Caputo, (510)286-2000, FAX (510)286-2010
Stature—Portuguese expert Guillermo Campos sums
it up this way. "While you may not be familiar with
the Ramos name, connoisseurs consider Ramos Port a
real gem, an authentic elite product that has not
received the recognition it deserves."
We hope this review helps overcome that problem.
About those cavemen that saved the vineyard.
As the drawings were going on the rocks, a
more sophisticated type of cooking was appearing
in Europe. Pebbles were heated in an open fire,
put in a small pit, the food was wrapped in
moist leaves, and baked in the pit.
You might call it a Stone Age oven.
Looks like every age had its connoisseurs!
James Trager, Food Chronology
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food Guide To Wines
For more, see the May 25, 1999 WineDay "Ramos Up Close".
|| About the
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30
years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications
honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to
American wine writers. For information about the wine
courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University
or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at
This page created August 2000