Our vineyards were layed out and planted in Cortém in fields not used for 30 years. We selected and planted the fifteen different grape varieties now growing in the vineyards using them for the blends we make. The grapes are fully certified organic from 2010. All the work is done by us and a small team of local people. We don't employ a winemaker and are learning the art of winemaking ourselves through hands on experience. It seems that the terroir of Cortém is helping us to make honest and tasteful wines as the various awards and customer enthusiasm shows.
The wines are made traditionally with hand picked grapes, destemming, crushing and 2 days of cold maceration until fermentation starts . Fermentation is for 2-3 weeks in open tubs of 1000 litre each, with partial covering to exclude air and manual stirring twice a day, waiting until all fermentation has ceased. The new wine is racked well mixed with air and the pressing its done in a tradiional manual basket press .
The wine is held for 2 years in stainless steel tanks, racked several times and blended before certification by the our Lisbon Wines Commission and bottling. Only SO2 solution is used to stabilise the wine and the reds are not filtered. Some wines stay in the tanks for up to 3 years before bottling depending on the blend and grape variety. Our policy is not to use oak additives or oak barrels in the ageing process so our wines just taste of the grapes used and the influence of our Cortém terroir.
© Vinhos Cortem - Chris Price & Helga Wagner