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Every place has something different. But the decision to make something out of it, coupled with the necessary know-how, can give the land something unique.
Knowing this, Ribafreixo Wines has been designing Herdade do Moinho Branco, at the gateway to the town of Vidigueira, since 2007. Its 282 acres are the result of a collection of abandoned agricultural plots from the region’s declining population and reduced agricultural profits. The name Moinho Branco, or “White Mill”, preserves the building’s original name among local residents who, in bygone days, used the nearby stream to mill the grains they produced. Meanwhile, the new owners’ work is transforming a once arid landscape into fertile lands with 282 acres of vineyard. This arduous task comes from the desire to produce superior wines on this land – specifically white wines – to sell in the international market.
For this reason, Herdade do Moinho Branco’s grape varieties are predominantly for white wines. They account for 60% of the total in a property located right next to the IP2 roadway connecting Évora and Beja, in the heart of the Vidigueira Designated Region, an area of predominantly white wines. Vidigueira, in particular, has always been known for the quality of its white wines. This unique situation is due to the Serra do Mendro range close to the north, which creates a microclimate in the region and at the property, making it the coolest spot there. This natural range curbs and moderates the particularly hot summer temperatures of the Baixo Alentejo, and also helps to increase precipitation. This is the main differentiating factor of Vidigueira. However, watering is still critical to the vitality of white grape varieties. The estate’s main variety is Antão Vaz, followed by Arinto, Verdelho, Síria and Alvarinho. There is also a small vineyard plot exceptionally dedicated to the Chenin Blanc grape variety originating from du Loire Valley and widely used in South Africa as well as in Napa Valley.The remaining area houses red varieties, mainly Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional,Alfrocheiro, Tinta Miuda and Aragonez.
Pictures Jerónimo Heitor Coelho & Ricardo Zambujo Fotografia