Situated in the Estremadura, (Lisbon Wines) in the DOC Óbidos region, the vineyards are set in hilly country near Caldas da Rainha about 15Km from the Atlantic. The climate is temperate to cool, with a strong maritime influence and summer temperatures seldom above 30 degrees. Sea mists at night in summer provide moisture to the vines through the leaves. No irrigation is needed.
We have a low latitude corresponding to the toe of Italy! So the intensity of the sun in the summer is high but with low ambient temperatures, leading to intense well structured wines with good natural acidity. Our wines often need more than 5 years before they reach their best!
Winemaking is returning to this area which in the past was a wine growing region initiated by Cistercian monks from Alcobaça in the 13th century. Vidais, our parish is the Latin name for vines, and was producing 2 million litres of wine annually in 1920!
Our vines were planted between 2000 and 2005 on cleared fields previously unused for 30 years and have been grown organically from the beginning, leading to full certification in 2010.
The vineyards are situated in a protected valley with no public roads or houses, which makes for a very clean and tranquil environment. The vineyards are small and surrounded by vegetation, and we think that the aromas of flowers and trees can enter the wine and influence its taste. It is a concept of “Air-oir” (like Terr-oir) as suggested by Clark Smith in his book Post Modern Winemaking “....plus the lush surrounding herbs that encircle its tiny vineyards and impart their own distinctive “air-oir” giving each vineyard a unique stamp”.
The vines are organically farmed with traditional cover crops in the rows and the prunings are left on the ground and mulched to preserve organic content of the soil. Every 5 years we add basalt rock dust from a local quarry to increase mineral and trace element availability, (see analysis report). Harvesting and vine management is by hand.
We have planted many different grape varieties in Cortém allowing us to be able to produce interesting blends as well as monovarietal wines.
Download Mineralization PowerPoint Show
See Basalt Analysis
© Vale de Cortém Vinhos Biologicos Lda