HomeLIFESTYLEHave you ever drunk the Wine of the Dead? A resurrected...

Have you ever drunk the Wine of the Dead? A resurrected tradition in Boticas

The name is a bit strange, but it is said that the Wine of the Dead is very much alive inside the bottles. A Boticas tradition not to be missed.

There will be wines whose quality alone is capable of raising the dead. There will be others that no one drinks, not even dead. But when the conversation turns to the already famous Vinho dos Mortos, in the municipality of Boticas, then things change. Unearthed and opened, it has become a much appreciated wine specialty. But how the hell did you get to this nectar?

It all starts with that old popular saying where we swear up and down that need sharpens ingenuity. And that’s what the people of Boticas did, who, seeing the dreaded French invasions approaching, in 1808, hid the wine, burying it on the floor of the cellars, under barrels and vats🇧🇷 Thus began to create the legend of the Wine of the Dead.

Wine of the Dead: Ingenuity Against the French

The French invasions caused great destruction in Portugal

The French invasions ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte aimed at imposing a continental blockade on the entire Europe, a result not only of the expansionist policy of the Gauls, but also of their desire to put an end to the economic and military power of the British. As Portugal did not submit to this blockade, Napoleon ordered three invasions of our country, ending the three defeated attempts.

Obviously, even though they were victorious, the Portuguese suffered from the violence exercised by the French armies, causing disasters such as, for example, the Ponte das Barcas, on the river Douro🇧🇷

Built on barges, this bridge connected Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia, constituting the only crossing of the river in the region. The approach of the troops of the second French invasion, commanded by the French Marshal Soult, generated a movement of panic among the inhabitants, who undertook an escape towards the Douro river, trying to cross it on the Ponte das Barcas.

Under the weight of the population, the crossing, based on twenty barges, would eventually give way, it is estimated that on March 29, 1809, around four thousand people died.

north entrance

What does the Ponte das Barcas disaster have to do with Vinho dos Mortos, you might ask. Well, it was precisely during the second french invasion that the ingenuity of the people allowed him to save the precious nectar. After trying to enter Portugal through the minhointention promptly repelled by the Portuguese forces, Marshal Soult decides to march towards Ourenseproceeding from there in the direction of Keysthrough the valley of river Tâmega🇧🇷 After gathering all their forces in the Spanish city, the French took aim at Portugal.

The military governor of Behind-the-hills, understanding the futility of facing the invader there, such was the disproportion of weapons, he withdrew to an area south of Chaves. Soult then made Chaves his base for the operations he would carry out on Portuguese soil. And it is here that the ideal conditions begin to be created for a fantastic story like that of Vinho dos Mortos.

Wherever they went, the French soldiers did not forgive anyone, committing countless atrocities among the population and amusing themselves by looting everything they could lay their hands on.

It goes from there, that the population of Boticas decided that they had to keep what was most valuable, in this case the wine. Hidden under a thick layer of gravel, the wine went unnoticed by Napoleon’s tumultuous soldiers and rested there for a long time.

With the French driven from Portugal, it was time for the populations to recover the goods they had left behind. They dug up the wine, judging it spoiled after so much adventure. Pure deceit.


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tasty wine

When they opened the bottles they noticed that it had acquired new properties, being very tasty. According to Historical Repository of the Wine of the Deadlocated in Boticas, and where the whole story is told, became a wine with a graduation between 10 and 11 degrees and with some natural gas, the result of fermentation in the dark and at a constant temperature.

This is how the tradition of burying wine was born to optimize its quality. It is not a plentiful winebut it has a pleasant flavor and should be served at a temperature of 14º.

The Vinho dos Mortos ended up becoming an ex-libris of Boticas, and also of the Flavian region. It deserves a visit and there in the surroundings there is also a lot to see🇧🇷 A suggestion for a beautiful transmontano weekend🇧🇷

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