Douro shades in the Alentejo

on Oct 1, 2019 in Automatic Pilot | No Comments

Located in the Serra do Mendro highlands, Luísa Amorim’s new project is called Herdade Aldeia de Cima, which boasts a vineyard planted on terraces.

After a successful project in the Douro (Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo) and recent investment in the Dão region (Quinta da Taboadella), both for Grupo Amorim, Luísa Amorim and her husband, Francisco Teixeira Rêgo, now face the personal, family and emotional challenge of leaving a legacy to their children and future family: Herdade Aldeia de Cima.

Luísa is no stranger to the Alentejo region. It’s home to a favourite property owned by her father. Located near Santana, in Portel, Serra do Mendro, the place is a rich source of memories and offers great winegrowing potential. The intiative began with renovation work, as well as investment in agriculture. Fourteen of the farm’s 2,400 hectares have already been planted with vines, with quality wine production a priority. The estate is situated in a unique region that has almost all the soil types found in Portugal. And so Vinha dos Alfaiates was born. Planted on traditional terraces with schist soils and gradients of between 30% and 40%, it’s divided into 18 micro terroirs and cultivated in an environmentally friendly manner, with a spacing of 80 cm between the vines (thus better protected from the mountain winds). The unique vineyard is reminiscent of those in the Douro and already iconic, attracting curious visitors from far and wide.

There are three other vineyards in the pipeline (da Família, de Sant’Anna and da Aldeya), which cover an area of 20 hectares and will be finished in 2020. In terms of grapes, white varieties include Antão Vaz, Arinto, Roupeiro, Perrum, while the reds are Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet, Aragonês, Alfrocheiro, Baga. The estate uses integrated production, which will later be converted to organic methods.

In the winery, which has capacity to produce 100,000 bottles, there are terracotta tinajas (large traditional vessels), moulded amphoras with natural structure and fibres, cement tanks and French oak vats that, together with the 500 litre barrels, reveal and reaffirm the personality of each wine. For now, there are two wines produced with grapes purchased from neighbouring producers, which express the region’s profile. Alyantiju (white and red) and Herdade Aldeia de Cima (white reserve and red reserve) are all distinguished by a vibrant freshness and designed by winemakers Jorge Alves and António Cavalheiro, supported by Joaquim Faia’s viticulture.


by Maria João de Almeida


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