“To be a miller you had to know carpentry, masonry, weather, everything. It was very complex, so knowledge passed from father to children,” explains Paulo Horta.
João Rodrigues, Feitoria
Texto de Tiago Pais
Fotografias de Tiago Pais
“Welcome to wind land!” The heavy gusts that welcome us in the small village of Cabeços, near Alenquer, justify Paulo Horta's greeting message. It was not by chance that many of the mills settled here, supplied the region with flour for centuries. The Paulino Horta flour mill, in the family for four generations, was one of them. “It has characteristics from the early 1800s. In principle, it would already be here in the French Invasions”, Paul assures, who adds another explanation to the local tradition: “It was not only by the wind, there was always good land here, which gave good grain.” Although the company name is only 18 years old, the family has always been a miller. “To be a miller you had to know carpentry, masonry, weather, everything. It was very complex, so knowledge passed from father to children,” he explains.
This mill still works but nowadays it is little more than a museum space since the cereals are treated in modern machinery equipped with stone grinding wheels. “We have combined the best of old with today's security,” explains Paulo Horta. And no matter how windy, current production can reach 20 tons of flour a day, so it would be risky to rely on the weather to have the sails spinning and the millstone working. But despite the company's growth and production, Paul says he still has the spirit of the miller of old. And what is this? “I have no clients, I have friends.”