♦ VINEYARDS ♦
♦ SETUBAL PENINSULA ♦
This is where José Maria da Fonseca’s largest vineyard area is located. There are various sites, each offering different climatic conditions, exposure to sunlight and type of terrain, which facilitates a range of technical options that will maximize the qualitative potential of each wine.
VINHA GRANDE DE ALGERUZ
The Vinha Grande de Algeruz vineyard represents a milestone in the company’s history. It involves a strategic option for José Maria da Fonseca, as it guarantees the control over the quality and diversity of the grapes used in its wines.
The property was purchased in 1989 and a restructuring process divided into five stages began the following year, ending in 1998.
The vineyard is undeniably a benchmark in national viticulture, both in terms of size and, essentially, because of the technical options it comprises at several levels: from trellising to tilling, the different types of vine treatment and non-use of environmentally harmful products, among various other features. It would be true to say that, after the Vinha Grande de Algeruz project, viticulture in the region moved away from the traditional model and began to follow a modern philosophy aimed at future challenges.
In fact, the vineyard’s potential is very high. So far, the grapes produced here have been destined for wines such as Periquita, BSE, Albis and Alambre Moscatel de Setúbal. Part of the Domingos Soares Franco Private Collection brand also saw the light of day at this vineyard and it is an important clonal field for several varieties.
QUINTA DAS FAIAS
Following the same strategic line that led to the purchase of the Herdade da Vinha Grande de Algeruz in 1989 – which was the need to ensure the company’s own production capable of maintaining the wines’ high standards of quality – the Quinta das Faias was purchased in 1997.
Located at Faias, a village close to Montijo, it consists of both a vineyard and forest area.
Quinta das Faias already had a vineyard, although it was highly heterogeneous and far below the standard that the company maintains in most vineyards. It has undergone major correction work since 1997 and, now that it has virtually all been restructured, the vineyard of Faias is very different today.
QUINTA DE CAMARATE
Quinta de Camarate is home to the Soares Franco Family.
About 39 ha of the total 120 are currently occupied by vineyards. The remaining area includes woods, pastures, gardens and vacant plots. Together with the vineyards, the pastures are also extremely significant because this is where the famous Azeitão cheese is produced.
Soils vary from sandy to clay-limestone.
Quinta de Camarate houses an ampelographic collection started in the 1920s and which currently has about 560 varieties. The collection has proved precious for the company by providing multiple enological options.
The main product is the Quinta de Camarate wine (dry white, sweet white and red), and it also contributes with some components of the wines in the Domingos Soares Franco Private Collection.
QUINTA DOS PASMADOS
Quinta dos Pasmados stands in the heart of Serra da Arrábida,amid a setting of rare beauty. The luxurious vegetation of the mountain is only broken by the 18 ha of vineyard.
The vineyard starts at the foot of the mountains and extends perpendicular to them. The grapes of this vineyard are intended exclusively for the production of Pasmados wines.
QUINTA DOS CISTUS
Located between Azeitão and Setúbal, at the foot of Serra da Arrábida, Quinta dos Cistus owes all its beauty to the way the vineyard extends, parallel to the highway, and to the magnificence of the mountain and its vegetation. The soils are clay-limestone. Once vinified, the grapes of Quinta dos Cistus produce some of José Maria da Fonseca’s white wines.
QUINTA DOS FOIOS
The property of Isabel Menezes, a José Maria da Fonseca shareholder, this small estate, located at Azeitão, has comprised a 2.2ha vineyard of Moscatel Roxo since 1991. Although cultivation is small, this was the rebirth of this variety after being nearly extinct.
♦ ALENTEJO ♦
HERDADE DO MONTE DA RIBEIRA
After the purchase of the Casa Agrícola José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes in 1986, which includes the Herdade do Monte da Ribeira, José Maria da Fonseca made an old dream of being able to produce wine in the Alentejo come true, on a property endowed with prestige and history (wine has been produced there since at least 1878), using traditional winemaking techniques.
The grapes, from the Herdade do Monte da Ribeira, located in the heart of the Alentejo, in Reguengos de Monsaraz, receive the sun’s intense heat and light, which imprint such a unique character on the regions’ wines.
In the current 72ha planted with vines in 1952, 1984, 1986, 1995,1998, 2000 and 2002, the red varieties dominate the region’s traditional grape varieties (Trincadeira, Aragonez and Grand-Noir). In winter, the part planted in 1952 becomes even more beautiful since we are able to glimpse the granite pillars supporting the majestic old vines through the sparse foliage.
The reconversion of the vineyard, completed in 2002, included complete separation according to variety. The final 20 ha to be reconverted were given the technical advantage of plots of clones being defined within a plot of the same variety. This clonal selection, a rarity in the viticulture of Alentejo, reached two of the three varieties planted in the vineyard (Aragonez and Trincadeira).
These vines produce the Alentejo wines of José Maria da Fonseca: José de Sousa, José de Sousa Mayor and J de José de Sousa.
♦ DOURO ♦
In an effort to overcome the image of a company with only regional production (Alentejo and the Setúbal Peninsula), José Maria da Fonseca was left with few alternatives: the Douro valley was, in fact, the only Portuguese viticulture region capable of generating added value in accordance with the company's growth.
The objectives are to optimize the excellence of the Douro varieties and wines, and to associate them with the image and credibility of José Maria da Fonseca. Achieving these objectives involves producing two of the region’s red wines, Domini and Domini Plus.
José Maria da Fonseca’s immediate priorities were focused on land, through the purchase of Quinta de Mós, a total of 15 hectares of 10 to 30-year-old vines, planted with Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa and Tinta Roriz.