Ribafreixo Wines – Herdade do Moinho Branco
Each place has its particularities. But the determination to accomplish something important with him, combined with the necessary know-how, give this land unique characteristics.
The will shapes the territory. To the point of reinventing it. Knowing this, Ribafreixo Wines has been designing, since September 2007, the Herdade do Moinho Branco, at the gates of the village of Vidigueira. Its 114 hectares result from the sum of a set of parcels of abandoned agricultural land, a consequence of the continuous depopulation of the region and the reduction of agricultural profitability. The designation Moinho Branco retains the name by which the building was known among the population where – taking advantage of the existence of a stream -, in other times, it moved to grind the cereals produced by it. The mill is still there.
The intervention of the new owners has, however, transformed the 114 hectares of vineyards into fertile land, which was previously a degraded and abandoned horizon. Hard work, resulting from the desire to produce high quality wines there to sell them on the foreign market. More specifically, white wines.
Herdade do Moinho Branco has, therefore, a prevalence of white varieties. They represent 60% of the total, in a property located right next to the IP2 national road that connects Évora to Beja, in the heart of the Demarcated Region of Vidigueira, a region predominantly of white wines. It should be noted that Vidigueira has always been known for the quality of its white wines. A specificity achieved thanks to its surroundings with the Serra do Mendro to the north, which creates a microclimate in this region and in this property, due to the natural corridor created by the Serra that carries the fresh winds from the Atlantic to Vidigueira, making the nights very cold in compared to hot days, a thermal differential much appreciated by the white varieties, giving it the greater freshness felt there.
The natural elevation conditions and softens the especially high temperatures felt in the summers of Baixo Alentejo, contributing even more to higher precipitation. This is what works as the great differentiating element of Vidigueira. But watering is still essential for the vitality of white grape varieties. In the estate, the Antão Vaz variety predominates, followed by Arinto, Verdelho, Syria and Alvarinho. There is also a small plot of vines -the only one in Portugal- exceptionally dedicated to Chenin Blanc, a variety originally from the Loire Valley and widely used in South Africa, as well as in the Napa Valley. The remaining area is home to red varieties, with a predominance of Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Miuda and Aragonez