Vineyards often have a story, but the story of Casal Santa Maria is a special one. This vinyard exists because an ill man of 95, from the Baltic Livonia, wanted to experience a new adventure. Now he is 105 and is still walking around on this particular property.

Baron Bruemmer is the fascinating man behind the Casal Santa Maria wines. He lives in Colares, near Sintra in Portugal.

The estate dates back to the early eighteenth century. The main house was built in 1720 and withstood the earthquake of 1755. Initially, this estate was used for viticulture, but in 1903 this came to an end here. Baron Bruemmer was born in 1911 in Livonia, a region located in present-day Latvia and Estonia. At age seven, he and his family were forced to flee, first to Germany and finally to Switzerland, where he remained throughout his career.

In the sixties, the baron became seriously ill and doctors gave him no more than two years to live. Not wishing to end his life in Switzerland, in 1962 baron Bruemmer bought the Casal Santa Maria estate in Portugal. Death did not claim him, but he started the biggest stud farm of Arabs horses in Portugal and a huge rose garden. In 2006, when he was 95, he underwent arduous and risky surgery. When this came out well, he decided it was time for something new. He chose to make wine and just three weeks later he planted the first vines on the estate.

Now it’s 2016 and the Casal Santa Maria wines have won numerous awards. The Baron is the oldest wine producer in Europe (and perhaps the world) and is still keeping an eye on things.

He has different varieties of grape vines such as Touriga, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The wines made from them are unique thanks to the salt and the wind from the ocean and the soil of clay and granite.

And of course you can have wine tastings at the vineyard. Santa Maria has both white and red wines and for just a few euros you can buy a bottle.

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