Our vineyards were layed out and planted in Cortém in fields not used for 30 years. We sourced the sixteen different grape varieties now growing in the vineyards from Portugal and France, using them for the blends we make. The grapes have been fully certified organic since 2010 and the wines from 2012. All the work is done by us and a small team of local people. We are the winemakers and have learnt the art of winemaking ourselves through hands on experience, and of course though many conversations with other winemakers. 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, de-stemming, crushing and 2 days of cold maceration until fermentation starts with natural yeasts at first. To finish the fermentation we add a standard yeast from the champagne region. Fermentation is for 3-4 weeks in open tubs of 1000 litres each, with covering to exclude air and maintain humidity of the cap, and with manual press-down twice a day, waiting until all fermentation has ceased. The new wine is racked and the pressing is done in a traditional 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. Only SO2 solution is used to stabilise the wine and the wines 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 in any form during the ageing process so our wines just taste of the grapes used and the influence of our Cortém terroir.
Winemaking is “A Long and Winding Road”. The perfect wine is always elusive, just out of reach. But along the way some wines shine with a special light that tells us that for a moment we got a little nearer to this.
© Vale de Cortém Vinhos Biologicos Lda