The origins of Casa de Laraias date back to the beginning of the 18th century. It’s so ancient that the name Laraias – mentioned in old records as being an Italian religious, a theology student who became a monk at the Monastery of Travanca – was adopted by small places adjacent to the farm that were formed in the meantime.
The estate has several mines, built at the behest of the monastery’s superiors in order to supply the monastery, in particular the Mina dos Frades which, as legend has it, served as a shelter and hiding place for some monks and small treasures during the French Invasions in the 19th century.
The property has a large, solid two-storey house with a granite exterior, surrounded by centuries-old large trees. Its garden is a very pleasant and relaxing place where the sound of water falls into the lake, the chirping of birds and the scent of lavender calms any restless mind.
The tradition of wine production has always been present at Casa de Laraias, but it wasn’t until 1993 that the company Casa de Laraias – Sociedade Agrícola Lda was set up, focusing on the production and sale of top quality Vinho Verde wines.
João Pedro Nunes de Matos, a native of Caria, in the municipality of Belmonte, in Beira Baixa, has always been a great lover of Vinho Verde wines: he says that, even in Terras Beirãs, it was the drink of choice when friends got together. Fate dictated that he would meet his wife in Amarante, Maria Amélia Nunes de Matos, heiress to the Casa de Laraias estate on the death of her father. Married for a couple of years and living in Porto, they couldn’t resist the call of nature and moved to Casa de Laraias.
João Matos then leaves his career in the Porto Judiciary and devotes himself body and soul to the farm. Acquiring training in the agricultural area, he began to operate the farm in the areas of livestock and viticulture. In the 1980s, he fulfilled his dream to start bottling the wine produced under the Casa de Laraias brand. At the beginning of the 1990s, the farm’s livestock farming ceased and all focus was directed towards the vineyards, with the conversion and planting of new vineyards with the grape varieties recommended for the region.
In 1993, João Matos created the family company Casa de Laraias – Sociedade Agrícola, Lda, which continues to this day. After more than four decades, he has no regrets about his professional choice and remains very firm and enthusiastic about his work as a Vinho Verde wine producer-bottler.