Herdade do Esporao – an exemplary estate in Portugal’s Alentejo

Herdade do Esporao

Alentejo in southern Portugal is better known as a tourist region than wine production.

A few farsighted businessmen decided to invest in an all-encompassing estate 30 years ago.

They were guided by a simple philosophy – quality must reign supreme, all raw materials will originate on the property, and respect traditional farming practices.

Located some 180 kilometres south and east of Lisbon in Regungos de Monsaraz in Alentejo, the property consists of 600 hectares of vineyards, olive groves, pastures, a dairy and a hotel. Recently, another estate Herdado do Perdigoes with 80 hectares was purchased to house a modern winery and pressing house for olives.

All grapes are hand harvested in small (20 Kilograms) baskets to ensure unbruised fruit at the winery.

The must is fermented in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks to ensure freshness and fruitiness.

Esporao produces a range of wines at different price points. A total of six million litres are produced annually.

Monte Velho, Alandra, Vinha da Defesa, sparkling and fortified wines complete the portfolio.

The Esporao line represents an excellent value, as do sparkling wines.

The estate’s extra virgin olive oils are heavenly, flavourful and aromatic.

Fine wine vinegars are also produced to complement olive oils for salads and for pickling.

Esporao’s traditional ewe’s milk and cottage cheeses are extraordinary in flavour and texture.

The pastures are lush green and never treated with any sort of synthetic fertilizers or herbicides. Butter made from ewe’s milk is rich and deeply flavoured.

All the above are available in the boutique, but more importantly the restaurant offers regional specialties worthy of any gourmet.

Here you can taste expertly prepared natural food and experience freshness and seasonal produce.

Esporao wines are available in Ontario.

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