The Algarve is the Portuguese wine region that produces less wine, but in recent years there have been new producers and those that exist already have increased production and will continue to do so. The quality has also improved significantly, as evidenced by the many awards in national and world competitions. Although red wines represent 60-70% of production, the aim now is to grow in whites and rosé, in response to the tourist looking for local wine, since about 90% of production is sold in the region.
Text: Emília Freire, Fotography: David Oitavem
MONTE DA CASTELEJA
The winegrower and oenologist Guillaume Leroux, son of a French father and mother from Algarve, inherited from the maternal grandfather this farm, near Lagos, which recreated the concept of ““vin du producteur” and now produces organic wines.
- The terroir is clay-limestone and has 4 ha of vineyards.
- Grapes: Alfrocheiro and Bastardo (reds); Arinto and Perrum (white).
- Use of straw to keep the moisture in the vineyards and irrigation (drip), usually twice a month (more often in the summer).
- Uses nets to protect the bunches of birds.
- Makes manual harvesting and treading.
- Production: 18,000 bottles in 2014.
- Brands: Monte da Casteleja – Clássico (Red, White and Rosé).
- Employees: 3 people, but receives ‘WWOOFing’ (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) volunteers throughout the year.
- It sells mainly in the Algarve, also for Pingo Doce and Intermarché, and organic produce stores and boutique shops throughout the country.
- Started exporting (Monte da Casteleja – Clássico – Red) to New York..
- Wine Tourism: Shop and tasting room, and Guesthouse (3 bedrooms and 1 suite with kitchenette).
ENOVITIS – Technical Viticulture and Enology magazine • n. 41 • jul / ago / sep 2015