Visit to Quinta das Bageiras – 1st Part
We started with a visit to Quinta das Bágeiras, a tour by all our partners, with the aim of we narrow down ties and relations, and we deal with the future. We recall that our partnerships are based on a relationship of mutual admiration, and in order to respect our identity, never estabeleceríamos partnership with a producer with which we identify ourselves.
Therefore, the description of the visits will be divided into 3 parts:
- Part 1: actual Visit to facilities/properties
- Part 2: interview with the producer
- Part 3: lunch/dinner with wine tasting of the partner
Rainy day this. It’s the beginning of June, and the summer even see it. But here we go on the A1 in the direction of Fogueira. Yes, Fogueira, the local name of “headquarters” of the Quinta das Bágeiras that, we learn later through the mouth of Mário Sérgio Nuno, is the only place of Portugal with that name. We had a casualty of last minute for reasons of illness, but here we go.
Leave the highway in Mealhada, and traveled the entire circuit of Piglet’s restaurants. These restaurants that (also the we learn later) lose all (the piglet concerns) to a restaurant in Fogueira. After Anadia, Sangalhos and finally Fogueira. Occasionally, we arrived at our destination. Ana, friend and a kind of Mário Sérgio right-hand, was already waiting for us. And Mário Sérgio mother, always attentive, you get the keys of the House.
We entered the headquarters, where they are exposed to some of the most iconic bottles from the producer, and those that are for sale. Mário Sérgio arrives soon after. We talked a bit, and we left shortly after, since the weather is giving some truce, and we need to enjoy.
Is in 1989 which is created the Quinta das Bágeiras brand. The existing 12 hectares at that time, Mário Sérgio was acquiring some more, to make up the current 28, scattered for about 20 small plots (one of them the Bágeiras portion, a favourite of his Grandfather Fausto). And Mário Sérgio is not interested in purchasing many more, although I know where are the good land, so you never know … Are some of these small plots that we meet. Are just a few kilometers to Ancas, village on the edge of which meet most of those lands.
We already know that the red berry (Baga in Portuguese) predominates overwhelmingly (about 90%). For Mário Sérgio identity is essential. And Bairrada is synonymous with Berry!
In these plots there are vineyards with very different ages. For example, the vineyard of Casal Pinhoso has more than 100 years; and the vineyard that gives rise to the red wine Pai Abel has just 20. But what is common to almost all of them are certain characteristics: the soils are calcareous clay, slopes, and the exhibition is south-west (because the Berry needs a lot of Sun).
Maria Gomes and Bical predominate in the white varieties, and sometimes we find them in the same vineyard of paints, although in lower areas. All wines of Quinta das Bágeiras are made with own grapes, and so all these small plots who over the years have been acquired, were chosen, treated and processed with all the care and thoroughness. For example, in some portions the presence of Woods on your highest portion, it is crucial to give more freshness and acid balance to wine…
Those aforementioned features of the land, are central to Mário Sérgio. Only then, he says, can make wines that are characteristic of the Bágeiras: the whites with an acidity, minerality and notable structure; and the reds, now softer (like his Grandfather Fausto) now more robust (as the wine cellar), but always with the same feature: Identity.
The time back to annoy, and forces us to go back. Take a walk to the car and we saw, from a plateau, the extensive vineyard Campolargo, and there in the distance and building there in the distance the Quinta do Encontro.
Back to Fogueira, it’s time to visit the wine cellar. The vinification and storage methods are traditional. Minimum intervention. No yeast added. Old drums do take the taste of wine.
We also know that a good vinegar takes at least 10 years. And that (half serious, half joking) a next draft of Mário Sérgio can be egg production: “is that you can’t eat anywhere an egg at way…”. Well, at least, many chickens are already there in the Bágeiras.
Frederick, the son of Mário Sérgio, joined us. Is studying Oenology at the University of Vila Real. And dad, are sure he will have great pleasure that he is part of the future of Quinta das Bágeiras. But with conditions: first, he have to do it all, like him. No way a winemaker Aristocrat… He have to know the vineyard, knowing of viticulture, must be full time student, he must know the promotion and sales. Second, he must maintain the identity. Identity!
We talked some more. On mutual projects, and trivia: we learn that a producer of the Alentejo wants to register a wine with the name “Grandfather Abel”!!!!…
But the piglet of Mugasa, already waiting for us. So we have to move on to the interview! …
W4P (JUN 2018)