HERDADE DO ESPORÃO
www.esporao.com - click here to visit site
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History & Philosophy
Located in the heart of the Alentejo region, the Herdade do Esporão Estate was established in 1267. Having passed through various families and Counts of the region, the property has been owned by the Roquette family since 1973. Their first wine was bottled in 1985.
Herdade do Esporão are keen to preserve what is genuine and traditional, but seek to combine this with innovation. At the heart of all Esporão projects is the preservation of the environment and biodiversity.
Wine production is overseen by the well respected and highly experienced winemaker David Baverstock, who is at the forefront of modern Portuguese winemaking. His philosophy is to create authentic and exciting wines, taking full advantage of Portuguese heritage and grape diversity and combining it with a contemporary approach.
Vineyard & Climate
Herdade do Esporão is characterised by the diversity of its volcanic and schist soils. Warmed by the Alentejo sun, which is tempered by cool Atlantic breezes, the Estate stretches for over 1800 hectares and includes 500 hectares of vineyards and 82 hectares of olive trees.
Sustainable production methods are used throughout and a large area of vineyards is currently being converted for organic production.
Esporao, Alentejo, Portugal
Produced from various Portuguese varieties including Vaz, Perrum and Arinto. A light, refreshing wine with citrus fruit, yellow apple and peach.
Aromas of ripe cherries and chocolate. A soft mouth filling wine. Produced from various Portuguese varieties including Moreto, Castelão and Trincadeira.
Produced from various Portuguese varieties including Aragonez, Castelão and Trincadeira. This wine offers a plethora of red fruit aromas.
Monte Velho Branco
Yellow apple, peach, apricot and white blossom aromas. A blend of Roupeiro, Antão Vaz and Perrum.
Monte Velho Tinto
Cherries, plums, mocha and spice - a touch of oak used. A blend of Aragonês Trincadeira and Castelão.
Always made from the Alentejo DOC grape varieties, these are classic wines of the region. Since 1985, a different Portuguese artist has illustrated the labels every year.
Rich, complex aromas of yellow apple, peach, apricot, honey and toasty oak. A blend of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro. Hand-picked and vinified in small lots.
Blueberry, blackcurrant, pepper and clove aromas, with very firm tannins. Handpicked, aged in French oak for 12 months.
DOC Alentejo wines with impressive structure, strong personality and complexity. Exclusive wines from the best plots, made in limited quantities.
Private Selection Branco
95% Semillon blended with a touch of Marsanne and Rousanne. Rich and complex aromas of apricot, sweet spice and nuttiness. Partial maturation on lees for 6 months.
Private Selection Tinto
Produced only in the best years this “Garrafeira” was made to age in bottle. A blend of Syrah, Aragonêz and Alicante Bouchet. Blueberry jam, cassis, spice and chocolate aromas.
Herdade do Esporão
Sustainability and Biodiversity
Esporão aim to adapt all agricultural activity to organic methods in the next five years. Currently integrated pest management and better agricultural methods are achieved by gathering data from weather stations, soil humidity sensors and using fully automated irrigation systems. There are approximately 100 soil profilers installed to assess the level of water in the soil. Irrigation is then adjusted to cause the plant to experience water stress during the grape’s growth phase, thus achieving lower but higher-quality yields. Herdade do Esporão have also created a manmade dam known as the Caridade dam which further enables effective irrigation systems for the vines and has attracted new wildlife to the estate. There are now over 111 different species of animals on the estate including wild pigs, foxes, deer, corkscrew tails, otters, wild cats, hares, rabbits and a huge variety of birds.
Experimentation & Commitment to Indigenous Varieties
Esporão was the first wine company in the world to sign the “Countdown 2010” initiative, with one of their commitments being to encourage and protect the cultivation of a wide range of original genetic grape varieties to help discover alternative solutions for the future. Their Ampelographic Field (lab-vineyard) is testament to this commitment. This 9 hectare vineyard is planted with a collection of over 200 Portuguese, and some foreign, grape varieties, which are in danger of becoming extinct. This intense experimentation and collaboration between the winemakers and the viticulturists results in wines such as the ‘Monocastas’ range. The constant trials and research in to how each variety responds in different soils and micro-climates results in very small quantities of unique, high quality single varietal wines being made each vintage.
Tower dos Esporão
Herdade Esporão’s roots date back to the pre-historic times of megalithic cultures and the Bronze Age. However, even during the Roman occupation, the wines of Esporão were exported throughout the Empire.
At the heart of this estate, in the scorching Alentejo heat, lies the Esporão Fortified Enclosure, which includes the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Chapel and a curious fortified gate, with a winding staircase that leads up to the ramparts. The Tower of Esporão is thought to have been built by Morgado Álvaro Mendes de Vasconcelos between 1457 and 1490. The main purpose of such towers had originally been for housing; however above all, they were a symbol of lordship and military power. Today the tower it is a symbol of Esporão.
Herdade Do Esporão, Alentejo, Portugal
The blends will vary each year, as the winemakers select the best varietals from each harvest, highlighting their unique characteristics.
The result of the best two white grape varieties blended: Semillon and Viosinho. Good acidity with lemon and apricot aromas.
The result of the best four red grape varieties blended: Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Petit Verdot, Syrah. Pronounced cassis, chocolate, coffee and cherry aromas.
A rich, complex, concentrated wine produced using Semillon grapes which have been affected by Botrytis Cinerea.
A grape variety rarely seen in Portugal, but extremely well adapted to the terroir of Herdade do Esporão. Aromas of pineapple, peach, white blossom and fine minerality. Aged for 2 months on lees.
Blackcurrant, chocolate and mocha wrapped in earthy aromas. Robust tannins and persistent finish. Matured 12 months in American oak, followed by 12 months bottle ageing.
Planted in 1988 it is one of the oldest vineyards of this variety in Alentejo. Orange blossom aroma delicately wrapped in cocoa notes. Matured 12 months in American oak, followed by 12 months bottle ageing.
Aromas of black fruit, cocoa and subtle tobacco notes. Matured 12 months in American oak, followed by 12 months bottle ageing.