Is the combination of these main features able to give shape and identity to a wine.
– The grape varieties, soil, climate and the sculptural work of man.
We believe that we have a special “terroir” here at Monte da Casteleja.
The Monte da Casteleja soil is unique in the area, good for vine growing, medium depth with a high percentage of clay and lime. Inside, water is strongly kept and slowly released to the roots during the summer, when the plants need it more.
Precipitation of 400 mm per year, mainly during the winter months, strongly limits vine growing.
The proximity of the sea is also a very important factor; humidity is higher and plants suffer less from water stress; the maturation is smoother and long.
The prior decision to install irrigation in the vineyard was crucial. But, with our underground water becoming more and more salty and, known difficulty to handle high vigour in irrigated vineyard, we decided to avoid irrigation in a regular basis.
It was very important to limit the strength of the plant in order to reduce it water needs, so we increase the number of plants per hectare. The distance between rows is 2.00 m instead of the usual 2.70 –3.00 m. The competition between plants is augmented.
In these area North wind blows in summer afternoons, refreshing the nights and improving colour and flavour concentration inside the berries.
What is Organic Agriculture?
Organic farming is an agricultural production method that guarantees the preservation of the environment, biodiversity and the future of the earth.
Being characterized by:
- SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE – gives farmers and consumers the responsibility to produce food in a balanced environmental, social and economic level.
- ECOLOGICAL – is based on the balanced interaction of man and soil, plants and animals, based on the notion that each element affects the other.
- SUSTAINABLE – Uses renewable natural resources, to minimize all forms of pollution that may result from agricultural practices.
Ensures the conservation and improvement of fertility in the long term soil. Uses less intensively soils. Restricts the use of fertilizers. It uses natural products to fight diseases and weeds abolishing altogether the use of pesticides.
Monte da Casteleja is in ORGANIC PRODUCTION since 2008 certified by Sativa.
Viticulture is a very ancient agriculture activity, with a first expansion during the roman period. Their presence is noticeable in the surrounding area and also in our land, revealed by the many pieces of ceramic and mosaic we frequently found in the soil. Archaeologists believe that first Lagos, called “Lacobriga”, was born around this valley, with sea coming much further inlands, very close to our property.
When the Moors invade the Iberian Peninsula and stay here many centuries, they continued the activity of grape production and brought new cultures like almonds, and figs. They are responsible for the development of efficient irrigation systems. The conquest by the Portuguese increases even more the wine production activity, exported to many countries.
In the early 20th century, during the philoxera infection, a bug that destroyed all vineyards in Europe, Port shippers had no wine to fulfil their needs and bought many millions of litre of Algarve wines because of their quality.
Nowadays the area of vines in the Algarve is around 3000 hectares and cooperatives and independent growers transform grapes. The region was delimitated in the 70´s in 4 main wine-producing area: – Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira., each one of them with different varieties and soils, in a narrow band close to the sea.