This was my first-ever project as a winemaking consultant. As you would expect, a tight emotional bond ties me to what was one of the first properties that believed in my capacity and work. This trust was there from the first day. Even in the early stages of the project, back in 2010, in the very beginning of my career.
Couteiro-Mor is a classic Alentejo winery that had its first wine bottled in the 90s. Since then it has kept an interesting position: the will to produce straightforward, quality wines, that allow the winery to grab a place in the limelight.
However, this wasn’t an easy task to accomplish. Deep in the Couteiro-Mor estate lays the Granja vineyard, one of the most significant in the Alentejo. Grapes harvested from this vineyard produce the famous Vale de Ancho, one of the most renowned Portuguese reds. It was awarded two Excellence Awards. The estate comprises over 40 hectares of non-irrigated land, nestled in an impressive schist slope in the Montemor-o-Novo municipality. The wine conveys the unique character of these rainfed fields.
On the remaining estates — Menir, Guião, Campo Frio and Herdade do Raimundo — over 100 hectares of vineyard are to be found. Each year sees Couteiro-Mor reach productions of over 1 million kilos. This number reflects the scope of this project. A project that aims to honor the brand that was built from the very first harvest when Mr. Gabriel Francisco Dias harvested and sold the first grapes and started to think about producing his own wine.
That initial project would eventually be acquired by the Barão Rodrigues family in 2012. This brought a new investment dynamic to the project, reflected not only in its production stage but also on the marketing plan.