The ROMEU Estate began as a vision that Clemente Guimarães Menéres once had.
Born in 1843 in Vila da Feira, Clemente da Fonseca Guimarães was a man of great energy. He traveled to Rio de Janeiro when he was 15 to join some relatives who lived there. He returned five years later and became involved in commerce. He later went back to Rio de Janeiro and also traveled through Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East exploring new markets. This was a new path to time.
Perhaps this was the reason why he added a new surname - Menéres - to his original one. He felt he neither fitted the size of the country or the one of the family. He founded latter several companies to export Portuguese products, namely wines, tinned food and cork. He set up the first food cannery and the first cork factory in Portugal.
In 1874, at 31 years old, Clemente Menéres left on a horse-cart to Trás-os-Montes to buy the cork tree groves he had heard of so often. He founded an Estate, the Quinta do Romeu, spreaded over eight councils in the Bragança district. He restored the vineyards which were then destroyed by the philoxera and extended the existing olive groves. Because the quality of wines and the terroir legitimized it, when the Douro Region was re-structured in 1907 he was authorized to produce Port Wine. He took part in many exhibitions all over Europe and in North and South America. In his book "Cartas do Japão", the Portuguese diplomat Venceslau de Morais commends him highly for his participation at the Osaka Exhibition in 1903. He founded the current company "Soc. Clemente Menéres Lda." in 1902, together with his sons.
After his death in 1916, his sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren followed in his footsteps. In the sixties, one of his sons, Manoel Menéres, was personally committed to recovering and refurbishing three local villages, opened kindergartens for the children and a restaurant to cover their entire running expenses, the Maria Rita, and also created the Museu de Curiosidades.
His endeavoring spirit was carried on by his descendants, who continue to improve the Quinta do Romeu with care and dedication but also with a great deal of determination.
The Company lived through the troubled years of the implantation of the Portuguese Republic, two World Wars, the 1974 April Revolution, the admission into the European Union and now is an actor in the global market.
It produces one of the best olive oils in the world, Port wine and top rank table wines, selling out to Europe, America and Asia.
In Romeu, we seek harmony among people, crops, the environment and the economy, as if it were music. Over and beyond agriculture, with soul. Ethically committed. We are aware that our feet rest on solid ground and the Divine is above, in the Sky. Fed by Both.
If you pay us a visit, you'll feel it too. Even in the Maria Rita Restaurant.
João Pedro Menéres
|(Click on pictures to enlarge)|