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Folders  |  Focus on the Herdade de Mingorra
Focus on the Herdade de Mingorra
Nathalie Amey
Focus on the Herdade de Mingorra
  1. Dear readers
    Let's take a drive through the Alentejo, where the fruits of the Douro meet with the earthy tones at the Herdade de Mingorra.
    To the south of Beja and about 200 kilometres from Lisbon, Henrique Uva (pre-destined to do this job: his name means grape in Portuguese!) successfully implemented an ambitious project when he created the Herdade de Mingorra in 2004.
    For many years, the grapes on this property were sold and then used in a manner that did not do justice to their high quality. So Henrique Uva decided to make them into wine. A personal challenge with serious financial implications including 2 million euros of investment.
    The vineyard is made up of vines that are 30 years old, which is quite unusual for the area which only started producing wine in the 1980s.
    130 hectares of vines make up 10% of the property with 60 hectares of old vines and the rest with younger plants, aged 25, 15 and 4 years.
    As well as a 130 hectare vineyard, the property has 150 hectares of olive trees, 125 hectares of irrigated land using a central pivot irrigation system (an aerial system of irrigation that creates artificial rain) with the remainder of the property in traditional crops and forest.
    A project for wine tourism is also currently being developed.
    What I was curious about was the Herdade's idea to join the two most famous regions in Portugal, thus creating a wine called 'Uvas castas' using 50% Douro grape varieties (Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz) and 50% Alentejo varieties (Aragonês, Alfrocheiro and Alicante Bouschet).
    The resulting wine can therefore not be classified as a DOC 'Denominação de Origem Controlada', but as 'Vinho da Mesa' or table wine, which is not derogatory in this particular case. The idea came to Henrique Uva because his grandmother has a vineyard in the Douro, he tried the mix and the result was a success. The grapes harvested are taken from the Douro area by night to the Alentejo, where the whole wine-making process occurs. 
    The fermentation is scrupulously monitored and the resulting wine then spends some time in one-year-old French oak casks.
    Only 5000 bottles of this wine were produced in 2006.
    The 'Uvas Castas' wine reveals its complexity to the nose at the very first stages of inhalation, with a dominance of Douro aromas.
    Upon tasting, the wine has a good body, with (very ripe) stewed red fruits.
    A wine to keep - between 5 and 7 years - which is best when served at 18°, and being left to breathe before drinking, and served with roasted or grilled meats or cheese.
    You can find Uvas Castas in good wine shops for about 25€ a bottle.
    Another wine, called 'Vinhas d’Ira' also deserves a mention. It is made using grapes from a  'Talhão', or ancient vineyard where the different grape varieties were not separated, so no one knows the varieties It contains, but one thing is certain: they all come from the Alentejo. The 'Vinha d’Ira' is a well-balanced wine, dense, supple yet also well-developed, to be enjoyed alone or with a dish of black pork or wild boar. In 2004, only 8200 bottles were produced. This wine retails for about 30€ a bottle in good wine shops.
    To end, I would stress that the lower priced wines from the Herdade de Mingorra are excellent value for money. The company's policy is to see wines from the Herdade de Mingorra on everyone's dining table. However, seen from a foreigner's perspective, I must say that in Portugal we need to leave aside the presumption that expensive wine means quality wine in terms of taste. The Herdade de Mingorra is a prime example of the excellent value for money that Portuguese wines can offer, a fact that is not well-known.
    Our new event is called «Meet the producer».
    Come and taste wine in the presence of the producer! I invite you to discover the wines from the Herdade de Mingorra on 29 January in the Inglaterra hotel in Estoril between 6 pm and 9 pm. The tasting will be followed by an informal dinner.

For more details.

Herda da Mingorra - Trindade
7800 - 761 Beja. Tel: 284 952 004, Fax: 284 952 005 geral@mingorra.com , www.mingorra.com


Fotos fonte: www.mingorra.com

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