Herdade do Esporão Winery Guide
The best-known winery from Portugal’s Alentejo wine region (east of Lisbon in Reguengos de Monsaraz), the history of “Herdade do Esporão” ‘s estate goes back 700 years. The boundaries were first established in 1267. Today’s modern winery boasts three historical monuments on its estate: a medieval Tower, the Bow, and the Chapel (declared national heritage monuments) recently restored by Esporão’s owners, Finagra. The tower is imposing, built-in 1457 by Morgado Álvaro Mendes de Vasconcelos, a knight in the household of the Duke of Bragança and governor of the Roman city of Évora.
The winery story is more recent, beginning in 1973 when Joaquim Bandeira and Dr. José Alfredo Parreira Holtreman Roquette bought the estate and began their ambitious winemaking venture right in the middle of a political transition in Portugal. As a result, the last 35 years have seen significant investment, innovation, and launching new products; besides their ever-evolving wine portfolio, Esporão leads the market in olive oil production.
Truly one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking wineries in Portugal, it is an absolute delight for wine tourists. They have been leaders in wine tourism and have organized the infrastructure for guests to enjoy a fascinating visit to the estate, the historical monuments, the vineyards, and of course, the atmospheric cellars.
Red Wine Esporão Private SelectionMade with Alicante Bouchet, Aragonês, and Syrah from an average of 30-year-old vines, this top red wine is matured in French oak (30% new 70% used one year old) for 18 months, followed by 12 months in the bottle prior to market release. This is a continuation of the “Garrafeira” concept, representing the best wine from the finest Esporão plots.
Red Wine Esporão ReserveMade with Alicante Boushet, Trincadeira, Aragonês and Cabernet Sauvignon, from 20-year-old vines, this is the flagship wine of the company, matured in 60% new American oak and 40% French oak barrels for 12 months, followed by at least 8 months in the bottle.
4 CastasThe “4 Castas” concept started in 2010 and differs every year, as the winemakers choose 4 grape varieties, which when combined in the blend show the best of that vintage. 2016 used Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Touriga Franca. Aged for 6 months in cement tanks and oak barrels, followed by 6 months in bottle.
Vinho de Talha - Old VinesAragonez, Castelão, Moreto, and Trincadeira make this “Old Vines” blend, which undergoes natural fermentation in clay pots “talhas” or amphoras (a traditional method dating back to Roman times). Amphora vinification enhances the freshness and tannic expression.
Esporão Colheita White100% Antão Vaz from purely organic vines. Partial fermentation in concrete tanks, followed by 4 months on the lees, allowing micro-oxidation which further enhances the flavor of the wine.
Esporão Reserva WhiteEsporão Branco D.O.C. Reserva is a rich, full-bodied dry white wine, using Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Arinto grapes from 18-year-old vines. Both stainless steel temperature controlled and cask fermentation in new American and French oak barrels on the lees are carried out.
Facts & Figures
1973, on a beautiful estate dating back to the 13th century
Area under Vine
Age of vines
30 years average, many old vines, Double Guyot
Oak barrel origin
American and French
Trincadeira, Aragones, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bastardo, Touriga Nacional, Syrah. Main whites: Roupeir, Antao Vaz, Arinto, Perrum, Rabo de Ovelha, Semillon.
Grape Varieties Used by the Winery
Antão Vaz: Popular Portuguese white wine grape, grown in Alentejo. Known for its fresh acidity, ideal for casual and fine dining.Find out more
Arinto is a versatile white wine grape variety known for its crisp acidity, citrus, green apple flavors, and a mineral finishFind out more
Rare Portuguese varietal known for producing aromatic, full-bodied wines with high tannins
Rabo de Ovelha
Produces full-bodied, aromatic wines with tropical fruit, apricot, and honey flavors. This rare grape is known for its high sugar content and is often used in sweet wine production. Despite its name, which translates to "sheep's tail," Rabo de Ovelha produces elegant and complex wines that pair well with desserts, cheeses, and spicy dishes
A grape variety known for its contribution to white wine blends, adding a crisp acidity and a mix of tropical and citrus flavors. Some wines may also feature herbal notes
Explore the allure of the Semillon grape & its legendary connection to Sauternes. Unveil the history & flavors of this captivating varietal. Cheers!Find out more
Discover the versatile grape: Spain's Tempranillo, and in Portugal, Aragonês and Tinta Roriz (Douro Valley). Embrace the rich cultural tapestry of this beloved varietal.Find out more
Unearth the bold allure of Bastardo wine grape. A unique gem with dark berry richness and a touch of spice. Elevate your wine experience today.Find out more
Discover the irresistible allure of Cabernet Sauvignon—a worldwide favorite with robust, dark-bodied flavor. Unleash your wine journey today!Find out more
Syrah is dark-skinned and perhaps the most underrated of the 'noble' red grape varieties.Find out more
Touriga Nacional red varietal is a dark-skinned grape predominately grown in Douro and Dão. In the Douro, it is used as a blending grape in Port wines.Find out more
Tinta Amarela, aka Trincadeira, is a red grape used in Port and red wine. Thrives in dry, hot climates, flaunting purple-skinned allure but susceptible to rot.Find out more
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