Quinta da Saudade’s location is considered, by many, one of the best terroirs of the region.
Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Douro, Portugal
Muxagata (Vila Nova de Foz Côa) is characterised by soils rich in limestone (Ph higher than 7,0) and it is set in the world’s biggest mountain production region – the Douro.
Despite Quinta da Saudade having been bought by the group in 2008, the first wines were made by Carloto on 2007, exclusively with Estate grown grapes. In 2008 harvest the wines took upon the brand Palato do Côa.
Quinta da Saudade has the form of a volcano with the cellar in the centre, built in 2012, and the vineyards facing all sun exposures. The Estate is found in the Archeological Park of Foz Côa (UNESCO’s World Heritage and Humanity Patrimony).
17 hectares (42 acres) of vineyards. 7 hectares (17 acres) of old vines (+ than 50 years old), most notorious limestone veins and 10 hectares (25 acres) of younger vines.
The vineyards are located between the Fojo Valley (“fojo” is a stone structure built by ancient shepherds, made up of two parallel walls that gradually narrow into a whole where predator species got trapped (wolves, bears, etc.)) and Caleiro Valley (“caleiro” are the veins from where limestone was extracted).
Grape production is environmentally sustainable. Vineyards are cared for with resource to traditional cultural techniques, as the hollow, the ridging, and the use of vineyards as sheep pasture during the time of rest.
The vineyards are grassed with clover, that dominates and serves as structure for the natural fauna; fertilization stabilization (avoiding the need to apply fertilizers) and weed control.
The vineyards are called by their names and the wines are made exclusively with home-grown grapes.
Despite the fact Carloto’s business partners are not winemakers, as he is, they are the toughest wine critics he knows. This places an enormous challenge and degree of demand to Palato do Côa’s viticulture and winemaking.
The wines are thoroughly created and go through several tasting stages before reaching the final blend.
Winemakers – Carloto and Paulo – prepare several individual blends, which are blind tasted.
For each blend, the partners and their families gather together to taste. Each opinion is considered and evaluated. Women’s critics are crucial and, most of the times, decisive in selecting the final blend.
This evaluation technique has proven commercially decisive for the success of the wines. It is a pre-test to the final consumer, which, in this case, is a most rigorous consumer. Palato’s partners and their families turn out to be the barometer of the market and the affirmation of the final blend.
Douro is considered the oldest demarcated and regulated wine region in the word, with more than 250 years. In 2001 was classified by UNESCO as Unesco World Heritage, in the category of natural landscape.
Soils are of schist origin and a high level of stoniness, which, combined with the climate, grape varieties and viticulture practices, grants the wines a unique personality.
Quinta da Saudade, located in the Douro Superior, where Palato do Côa wines are made, is limited by quotas of 350 to 450 metres of altitude.
Wines produced in this sub-region are characterized by its freshness, great acidity and body, which gives it elegance and an enormous ageing potential.
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