Looking back in time, we stop at the appointment of the priest-curate of the Church of São Bartolomeu do Troviscal in 1722, a promotion from his previous position as curate of the Church of Santo André de Vila Boa de Quires in Marco de Canavezes. Father Manuel Pinto de Aguiar was Sebastiana Pinto da Mota's maternal uncle and his niece came to live with him in Troviscal when he took over as curate of the Church of São Bartolomeu. Sebastiana Pinto da Mota married Manuel da Fonseca Carvalho, from Póvoa do Carreiro, in the Church of São Bartolomeu in Troviscal on 31 August 1732.

Father Manuel's family was very well connected at the time, with blood ties to the Moreiras of Gandra, in Paredes, and the uncle-cure supported the young couple, with Manuel da Fonseca Carvalho being promoted to ensign in 1741 and catapulted to Captain in 1755. In Troviscal society, this was a position of the utmost social importance and gave the family a top position on the local and regional social scale. Six children were born of the marriage, three boys and three girls. The third son, António José da Mota Carvalho, married Mariana Joaquina da Conceição in 1771 and it was into this original branch that the Cravo family would fit, with the marriage in 1906 of Martinho da Silva Cravo, from Quinta da Gala, to Maria Rosa Domingues Martins, daughter of Sebastião da Mota Domingues Gala's second marriage to Francisca Ferreira Martins. Her father-in-law was a wealthy farmer with extensive experience in the art of winemaking and a winery with two dozen barrels of wine that supported the young couple in their early life. In 1911, Martinho Cravo built his own winery, the "Adega Cravo", with barrels replacing the casks.


In the extracts from the accounts of the Memorialist priests at that time, the crops and the preponderance of wine production in the Bairrada and Gândara sub-region are mentioned.

The Bairrada sub-region roughly corresponds to the Certoma river basin, covering the municipalities of Oliveira do Bairro, Anadia, Mealhada and part of Cantanhede. Its eastern boundaries meet the Buçaco mountain range and its western boundaries meet the Atlantic. However, Amorim Girão distinguishes a subdivision, called Gândara, which extends along a strip of coastal dunes, framed to the south by the Buarcos mountain range and to the north by the lower course of the Vouga river. This area could include the remaining part of the municipality of Cantanhede and also part of Mira, although the latter still remains in the area of influence of the Ria de Aveiro, while the latter is more characterised by the characteristics of the Gândara region.

The parish reports for this region are very limited in terms of relevant information for analysing the economic and agricultural situation. In general, the priests didn't go into any additional considerations, but concentrated on answering what the questionnaire suggested in a laconic way. Wine was very important to the region's economy and was mentioned in practically all the parishes with Memoirs. The parish priests didn't leave us much to identify its quality, with only Barcouço (municipality of Mealhada) using the term "mature". This region is in fact the first, in this geographical context that we have been discussing, where the quality of the wine was already recognised at the time, as can be seen in the comment by the parish priest of São João da Madeira that we have transcribed above. It is also in Anadia that we see the greatest spread of olive cultivation, followed by Cantanhede. In some parishes, olive oil production was sufficient to supply the population. The information provided by the parish priests does not make it possible to understand the living conditions of the population as a whole for the region. Small notes allow us to anticipate that there were few lands whose agricultural production guaranteed subsistence. This is the case of Casal Comba (municipality of Mealhada), where the priest stated that "everything they collect is still not enough to sustain the people of this parish". And in Cadima (municipality of Cantanhede), the parish priest said that only fifty people survived on what they harvested, while the rest were forced to buy essential foodstuffs. Also in Cantanhede, in the parish of Bolho, an estimate was made of the wealth of the residents, with the priest considering them to be "all poor, the richest of whom will have at most two thousand cruzados" and, referring to the place of Casal, he said: "it is also poor, it has forty-six residents, none of whom has more than four hundred thousand réis". The same parish priest of Bolho also lamented the dryness of the land, which was incapable of producing sufficient quantities. On the other hand, we also find land that is self-sufficient and even surplus in some products. The most obvious case is that of Ançã, in the municipality of Cantanhede, which was considered to be "very abundant in olive oil and wine, which helps with these fruits many villages that lack these products" and also had no shortage of cereals as it had "enough bread for its inhabitants".

Marques Gomes' references from 1877.

The publication "O Districto de Aveiro, Noticia Geographica, Estatistica. Chorographica, Heraldica, Archeologica, Historica e Biographica" by Marques Gomes in 1877 continues the previous information on wine production in Bairrada.

According to the author, "Bairrada became a great wine-growing centre after Mr João Baptista Ferreira, one of the first owners of Mealhada, began to plant large quantities of bacellos in 1820. The Quinta da Tapada was notable for its vineyards, which produced excellent wheat. In 1822, Mr Ferreira collected one hundred and twelve barrels of wine, which were sold for 25$000 réis. This success encouraged farmers to start new, larger plantations. From 1825 to 1834, exports took on the largest proportions, and in the latter year they were extraordinary, due to the political events that closed the Oporto bar. Before 1818, the biggest farmers only collected a few barrels of wine. Even in 1820, despite the fact that wine-growing had developed to some extent, only the Sacarroas estate, Tapada, Estrepai, Portaria and a few other insignificant vineyards were known. In 1848 o oidium principiou a sua perniciosa acção, e as vinhas quasi se aniquilaram. Em 1862 os estragos começaram a diminuir, e a produção a augmentar consideravelmente”.

"Today Bairrada is more prosperous than ever. The municipality of Mealhada alone exports more than 600 barrels of wine every year. The wines of Bairrada, although they form a single type, can be divided into shipping wines and drinking wines, distinct and diverse in colour." The author considers Mealhada, in Bairrada, to be the centre of Portugal's most important wine region, after the Douro.

Marques Gomes published his work in 1877 and didn't realise that the 19th century would be recorded as a dark period in the history of viticulture. He captured the growth of the vineyards in Bairrada from 1820 to 1848, the year when the powdery mildew plague appeared, a disease that devastated the vineyards until the problem was solved by sulphurising the vines. In 1853then mildew appeared, with lesser effects in Bairrada due to the knowledge of treating the vine leaves with Bordeaux mixture.

I couldn't have imagined the earthquake that would ruin the wine industry, because it was in the second half, around 1865In 1877, the author wrote that the phylloxera plague appeared in the Douro and quickly spread throughout the country. It's curious that the author mentions that in 1877, "Bairrada is more prosperous than ever" without making any reference to the impact of the phylloxera scourge on the region.

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