Moreto Old Vineyards
A Heritage to Preserve
Moreto Old Vineyards
Comprised between the left bank of river Guadiana and the border with Spain, the wine-growing sub-region of Granja-Amareleja, in Alentejo, is a region with a strong identity. With a particular hot climate in summer, being appointed as the hottest region in Portugal. Granja-Amareleja is a region of viticultural traditions, where large and modern vineyards, cultivated according to the best practices of current technology, coexist alongside with “archaic dry farming vines”, typical of the smallholdings surrounding Amareleja, Granja and Póvoa de São Miguel. These small vineyards are cultivated by small winegrowers according to ancestral techniques of Roman origin in fields of invaluable ampelographic biodiversity.
This strong identity, resistant to the pressure of globalization, is also reflected in peoples' way of life, in the preservation of ancient memories and in popular wisdom in perfect harmony with nature and with a sustainable agriculture system.
Current trends value more the originality and historical patina associated with wines. The recent superior quality wines made with Moreto grape, with special emphasis to amphora wines, start to be recognized both locally and abroad, as a result of their original oenological aptitude, provided they are planted in the right place and cultivated properly. Moreto became, by its own merit and that of some producers, an icon of this sub-region.
Moreto Old Vines from Granja-Amareleja are a living museum of ancestral techniques of Roman origin and an ex-libris of the sub-region. They are, of course, an identity element worth
to acknowledge, to protect and to promote.
Historic vineyards or young vineyards made using same technics as the historic ones, in an environment without pollution, are beginning to be a huge asset for the promotion and recognition of this entire sub-region, and to the rest of Alentejo wines.
Vineyards with 20 or more years, of typical Roman viticulture, planted ungrafted, with vine cuttings from old vines, free-standing vine training (vase or head of willow), with gobelet pruning.
The superior quality of Moreto wines from Granja-Amareleja is due to the summer heat, which ensures perfect maturation of the grapes, the subsoil of the region, with its characteristic “solão” (impervious underground layer), which guarantees permanent availability of water to the vines, and the characteristics of Moreto grape variety, whose long cycle guarantees a perfect adaptation of the grape to the region and makes it ideal for responding to climate change in the future. It will come as no surprise, then, that Moreto is the region's great red grape variety, a partner of the traditional amphora wines, of the local culture of consumption and gathering in wine taverns and small private cellars.
The people of Alentejo still keep alive and practically unchanged the tradition brought by the Romans to the region 2000 years ago. Winegrowing techniques, amphora winemaking techniques and even the way wine is consumed are similar to what happened in ancient Rome.
To truly understand and appreciate this wine culture, it is necessary to know the ancient vineyards and grape varieties with which it is made, to its very original winemaking process in clay pots and the ritual of its consumption in the region. This is the only way to recognize, down to the smallest detail, the Mediterranean matrix that sustains it. When that happens, you appreciate it even more. You want to go to inland Alentejo to experience it and to mingle with the people. There are two places chosen by the locals to drink amphora wine, the wine tavern and the private cellar, where friends get together.
An ancient tradition
A wine heritage
An inner Alentejo to discover and experience
"I would like to pay homage to the people of this region of Alentejo. They knew how to preserve a heritage left by the Romans 2000 years ago."