Quinta do Perdigao
Spending time with José Perdigão is always a joy. In his day job he is a visionary Dao architect focused on tasteful restoration of important historic buildings, and, in one case, a near extinct village. Walk with him in his vineyards and he turns into a poetic philosopher lovingly effusing over his plants and soil. His wines are as infectious as his personality.
The quinta was planted in 1997 on granite based soil around 365 meters above the Dao river. Vine density is close to 5000 per acre and vineyards (mainly Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, and Alfrocheiro with some Encruzado) are run on a sustainable regime that avoids herbicides.
Alfrocheiro is very old in this region. And locals are always comparing the characters and advantages of Alfrocheiro versus Touriga and Jaen.
Jose Perdigao calls his single varietal Alfrocheiro ‘his Burgundy.’ He views Alfrochiero as being fundamentally ‘feminine’ in nature, born of ‘the planet Venus’ adding ‘wild, untamed notes’ to his blends. Touriga is more ‘masculine,’ like ‘from the planet Mars,’ bold and muscular. Leaving Jaen a ‘sweet and not very strong personality’ acting as a satellite floating around the two.
On a more practical level, Alfrocheiro is planted on Perdigao’s highest, hottest, most exposed slopes to accelerate ripening, leaving Touriga sited on the most infertile to focus vine energy on fruit rather than growing leaves.
Barrels on marble plinths
Steel tanks within old stone walls