These photographs were taken on an i-phone, on a wet and windy day in and around a quinta (the word means "estate", or "farm") in the Vinho Verde producing region north of the Douro, in the province of Minho. The wines from this estate are almost as well made as the buildings are beautiful, although I took no notes on them during the lunch we had there, since we were all very hungry and only started eating at 4.30 pm!
This place is called Louredo, and I find that it fully illustrates that strange and fascinating combination that exists in 18th century Portuguese architecture (at least this version) between a form of rural austerity and the baroque flamboyance that can be readily seen in most of the local ecclesiastical architecture.
The blends and alternance between vine and other cultures, internal and external appearance (with the use of the courtyard as an intermediary), the occasional more elaborate decorative detail and the stripped white plainness of the wall space, soft and hard materials, all this is both harmonious and constantly exciting to look at.
For those of you interested in learning more or indeed in visiting Portugal, which has many more treasures to offer, including the fabulously spectacular landscapes of the Douro valley, the Alentejo and its cork forests, Lisbon and Oporto, and much much more, here is a link to the national tourist site :