Made from a combination of 80% Castelão (also called Periquita in other parts of Portugal) and 20% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), average vine age 40 years old, grown on Chão Rijo - or “hard soil” in Portuguese - the calcareous-clay soils around the town of Colares, Sintra, west of Lisbon. The wine is fermented with 20% whole clusters in tank, and then raised for a year in 50% used barrels and 50% large old wood vats.
The name Chão Rijo means literally “hard soil” in Portuguese. This refers to the claycalcareous soils on which the native Castelão and Tinta Roriz grapes grow. These vineyards are located less than 6 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, producing wines low in alcohol, high in acidity with delicate floral aromatics and saline notes. Grapes were hand-harvested the first week of October, 80% de-stemmed, then wild yeast fermented and raised for one year half in steel vat, half in centenarian Brazilian foudre. The result is a lively, light bodied yet earthy wine. A delicious wine to pair with an assortment of meats, rice dishes, and pastas.