The year 1942 was a very turbulent one but it did spawn one of the world’s most iconic and popular table wines.
It was the year that Sogrape, a small company based in the north of Portugal, started trading for the very first time.
A range of wines were introduced in 1943 but it was Mateus Rosé that quickly distinguished itself from the rest and soon became a best-seller.
Mateus Rosé is a palatable wine produced in an appealing shade of pink with a strikingly fresh bouquet. Its taste is very well balanced and slightly effervescent, making it an ideal accompaniment for shellfish, salads and white meat.
With its lively raspberry colour, the recently-launched Mateus Rosé Shiraz has an intense fruity aroma with hints of strawberry. The palate is slightly dry with a refreshing acidity that leaves a lasting taste in the mouth.
Their distinctive flagon-shaped bottles were inspired by the hip-flasks carried by soldiers during World War I. With a longer neck and a smaller label, its new design is softer and more appealing than before with the logo stylishly engraved on the glass.
Still in the hands of the family that first launched it, Sogrape sold more than 20 million bottles of Mateus Rosé last year in over 120 different countries.
One of the most frequently pictured sights in the whole of Portugal is the Solar de Mateus (indicated on the map below), the country house depicted on the labels of this world-famous wine. Located just 3 km from the city of Vila Real in northern Portugal, its white stucco walls and extravagantly carved stonework detail are typical of the local baroque style of architecture, while the formal gardens feature a thirty-metre-long cedar-shaded tunnel. Inside, there are period pictures, rich furnishings and an assortment of rare exhibits Wellington and Frederick the Great.