Porto: Douro, an alchemy between air, land and riverPreviously
5 October 2018 - 6 January 2019
"The Douro is the name of a river that has also become the name of a region. A real meeting of water, rock, nature, animals and men where everything is disproportionate: the deep and narrow valley, the burning temperature, the reverberation of the shiny schist and the stepped terraces that men have created on the slopes"
From October 5, 2018 to January 6, 2019, discover at La Cité du Vin the second temporary exhibition "Guest Wine Region" that transports you to Portugal in the heart of the Upper Douro wine region, inscribed as a cultural landscape in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2001.
Designed and financed by the City of Porto, in collaboration with the Fondation pour la culture et les civilisations du vin, the exhibition « Porto, Douro: an alchemy between air, land and river » seeks to present the contemporary sparkle of a landscape heritage that emphasises the ancestral relationship between man and nature, through a sensitive and multidisciplinary approach. The exhibition curators, Nuno Faria, artistic director of CIAJG (Centro Internacional das Artes de José de Guimarães) and Eglantina Monteiro, anthropologist, seek to express the social and political tensions that cristallize on the same territory: between the viticultural and rural Douro, which also produces dry wine, and Porto, the trading city which is the transit point for Port Wine, also produced in the Douro. Going beyond mere education, the exhibition offers a sensitive and sonorous approach that focuses on time and on space.
During those three months of exhibition, events, tasting tours and workshops come punctuate the life of La Cité du Vin: Porto commented tasting , conference about the Upper Douro, percussion concert on barrels... the exhibition focuses on transmission by modernity to bring light on that heritage.
Discover the programme
The Upper Douro, an exceptional cultural landscape
The river Douro crosses Portugal from East to West over nearly 200 km. It crosses the region that bears its name, in the north-east of Portugal up to the Atlantic where it flows into the ocean at Porto. It is on these lands of the Douro valley, farmed since Antiquity, that Port is born. 26,000 hectares of vineyards are planted on its steep banks. This viticultural region, surrounded by mountains, is a unique ecosystem, shaped by the hands of men into terraces on the steep slopes of the river banks, and contributing to the singular beauty of the landscape.
The Upper Douro wine region has been inscribed as a cultural landscape in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2001, a reflection of the evolution of wine and human activity over time as well as its technical, social and economic development. Sealed by a royal charter in 1756, the appellation that delimits this region is one of the world's oldest protected designations of origin. The Douro has thus played a major role in the development of the region. Until the advent of road transport, it was long the essential communication route that ensured transport of Port, from the hills of the Upper Douro to the City of Porto, from where it was exported.
The staging of this exhibition has been created by Bartira Ghoubar, Brazilian architect and graduate of Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo. It brings together old and contemporary sounds, spoken accounts, voices of the hereafter and visions of the past projected in the present.
"We invited the Skrei architectural practice and winemaker and producer Mateus Nicolau de Almeida, who have developed an ongoing and fruitful collaboration in the Douro region, around the creation of cult wine locations. Together, we offer a panorama, this quest for the secrets of the region.The exhibition is thus an animist evocation of the region, summoning men's voices, birdsong, the metallic sound of the schist, the course of the waters and the breath of the wind."
Find out more about the "GUEST WINE REGION" exhibitions of the Fondation pour la culture et les civilisations du vin
Each year, the Fondation pour la culture et les civilisations du vin gives a wine region or country the chance to present a cultural exhibition in its halls for a period of three months.
The Fondation pour la culture et les civilisations du vin, thanks to the support of its patrons, develops cultural initiatives every year such as the "Guest Wine Region" exhibitions. Do you want to support the Fondation?
The general curation
The general curation is handled by:
- Nuno Faria
Born in Lisbon in 1971, Nuno Faria is currently artistic director of CIAJG - Centro Internacional das Artes de José de Guimarães. From 1997 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2009 respectively, he worked at the contemporary art institute and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He lived and worked in the Algarve between 2007 and 2012, where he notably founded (at Loulé, in 2009) the Mobilehome project, a nomadic, experimental and independent art school. He teaches at ESAD, the Caldas da Rainha school of arts and design.
- Églantina Monteiro
Eglantina Monteiro, an anthropologist and activist, lives and works in Castro Marim where she runs the Companhia das Culturas. Between 1984 and 2000, she taught anthropology of art at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Porto. Eglantina Monteiro continues her activity in the field of anthropology of art with work undertaken in the Amazon, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau and Serra do Caldeirão, Algarve.
In the October newsletter, you were asked what the rain clothes of the grape harvesters of Haut-Douro were made of? Even though schist is very present in the region, you can imagine that a schist raincoat is not very practical for agricultural work. It was obviously straw! The "Croça", although old-fashioned, was very used in the past. It was a kind of protective blanket, a real straw protection used by reapers during cold and rainy winter days. It consists of several layers of straw and is often used with a straw hat.
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