Travel from an hour north of Lisbon, Portugal to Madrid, Spain before hopping over to Naples, Italy on your way to Greece and finally landing on the coast of Turkey. Sound fun?! Well that's what's in store for you this month!
QUINTA DO PINTO ARINTO
Notes of honey, lemon, lime, and pineapple. Toasted apples and a hint of creaminess.Nice balance of acidity with a touch of minerals and saltiness.
Quinta do Pinto, founded in 2003, is a family estate winery on the Atlantic coast in the municipality of Alenquer just outside of Lisbon. In the area you can visit authentic rural villages, with their mills and white houses. Planted on 63 hectares of gentle slopes, the vineyard enjoys southern exposure. It is protected from the north winds by the Serra de Montejunto and benefits from the Atlantic influence. The climate is maritime temperate, with Mediterranean characteristics, with the ocean 25 km away. The soils are clay-limestone, originating from the Jurassic period with a clayey texture. Diversity of the soils, even from plot to plot - a strong asset of the property.
The owners' passion for wine and their relationship with the land, solidified through five generations linked to agriculture and wine. António Afonso Lasso de la Vega Cardoso Pinto, the producer, is the coordinator of the oenology project at Quinta do Pinto. Rita Cardoso Pinto, his daughter and the property’s administrator, has the regular support of about 20 employees, including her sister Ana and brother, Francisco. The objective at Quinta do Pinto is to make superior wine with its regional grape varieties; to bring attention to these grapes outside Portugal. They grow just over 2 dozen varieties including: Arinto, Fernão Pires, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Miúda, Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Syrah and Merlot.
Use of indigenous yeast, 100% herbicide free, sustainable farming practices, vegan, low intervention and use of traditional concrete tank.
PASAELI 6N KARASAKIZ
Lighter, chillable red here! Lots of bright cherry, juicy plum, and dry figs. Earthy, spicy and with a little bit of funk. Finishes with soft dusty tannins. A perfect summer grilling wine!
The grape varietal, Karasakız, is native to Kaz Dağları (near the site of ancient Troy!) and has been grown in Turkey for centuries. The grape is also known as “Kuntra” in some parts of Turkey and has been used in the production of cognac.
Paşaeli is a family owned Turkish wine estate and was founded by Seyit Karagözoğlu in 2000. He planted vineyards and founded Paşaeli after a decade as a wine importer, as he felt the soil and climate of Turkey were ideal for growing high quality grapes. Indigenous varieties were planted in the Aegean region, such as Sultaniye, Yapıncak, Çalkarası, and Karasakız, and Bordeaux varieties. Turkey is currently the world’s 6th largest grape grower and has many micro climates and soil types. Paşaeli is part of a new wave of winemakers and winery owners who are championing native varieties and bringing them back from the brink of extinction.
We have featured wines from Paşaeli in the past, maybe you remember the tasty rose with the cute seahorse label??
Harvested from a single vineyard at an altitude of 550 meters, the wine is fermented with native yeast only before aging for 6 months in French and American oak barrels.
MARKOGIANNI DIAGON VERTZAMI
Intensely aromatic with notes of jammy cherries, black currant, and warming spices. Floral, herbaceous and lush. Complex and rich with lingering notes of vanilla, cocoa, and black tea.
Unique wine from the rare variety, Vertzami, of the island of Lefkada. Vertzami is found mainly in Lefkada, but can also be found in the western regions of the Peloponnese, central Greece, and even in Epirus. It is considered to be a very luscious variety with a lot of acidity, tannins and a very intense color.
Markogianni Winery is a family-run business operating since 1982 in the cultivation of vineyards for the production of quality wines and spirits (such as tsipouro). The winery is located in Skiloundia Olympias of Andritsena-Krestena Muncipality. All 63 hectares have been cultivated organically since 2001. Their philosophy is respect for nature and production of quality wines. Local varieties are cultivated such as Roditis, Koliniatiko, Mandilaria, and Vertzami.
Organic, 17 months in barrique, 8 years of aging, and low intervention.
Bold, jammy dark berries and fruits with mediterranean herbs. Robust notes of leather and tobacco. Finishes with a touch of cocoa, pepper and minerals. A lovely pairing with hearty pastas, steak or pizza!
Aglianico is a black grape that can be found in southern Italy. Wines produced from the grape tend to be full-bodied with firm tannins and high acidity, making them good candidates for aging. The grape is full of history and is considered one of the three greatest grape varieties of Italy along with sangiovese and nebbiolo.
The Mustilli family settled in the town of Sant’Agata dei Goti (a sub-region of the DOC Sannio) in the 14th century, and has been producing wine for five centuries. The area is striking and marked with many historic buildings. They are the only winery in the area and all 20+ hectares are planted with indigenous varieties, such as: Aglianico, Piedirosso, Falanghina and Greco di Tufo. In the 1960’s, Leonardo Mustilli established the modern day iteration of its production. He is the first to have bottled pure Falanghina in the 70s. Today, the estate is run by two of the daughters- Anna Chiara, who manages the vineyards and winemaking, and Paola, the commercial side of the business.
Organically farmed and vegan. Low yields and manual harvest. Grapes are immediately de-stemmed and crushed. Fermentation for about 15 days in stainless steel. Maturation in second pass French oak for 9 months. Lightly fined, unfiltered and a small SO2 addition prior to bottling. 9 months in bottle prior to release.
ALPHA ESTATE HEDGEHOG XINOMAVRO
Bright purple-red in color, this has more to it than its super-friendly face initially lets on. Give it some air and flavors emerge from under that bright cherry-red fruit – some of xinomavro's tell-tale tomato-leaf and lamb-fat notes. Inviting nose of pot pourri, wild red berries and pomegranate. Full mouth of vibrancy and brightness with well-managed tannins. Leather and spices alongside hints of ripe blackberry offer plenty of juicy and crunchy fruit, refreshing acidity, and a linear finish with long aftertaste of quince. A very drinkable xinomavro, so pop it now!
Alpha Estate was founded in 1997 by the experienced viticulturist Makis Mavridis and chemist-oenologist Angelos Iatridis, who, after years of experience in various locations of Greece and abroad, chose the Amyndeon region to create his own wine. The knowledge and love for winemaking was passed on to the next generation. Angeliki Iatridou and Emorfili Mavridou carry on the tradition today, aspiring to evolve, while participating in the team’s common vision. “Absolute respect to the Ecosystem, with human in the epicenter” is the winery’s philosophy, claiming that the main feature of their work is the ‘’soul’’ of the people that contribute every day to this dream, with respect to nature, combined with high quality and deeply eco-friendly growing practices of sustainable viticulture and wine making.
Alpha Estate’s privately owned 220 hectares of vineyards in the Amyndeon plateau of NW Macedonia, Greece, has its own unique ecosystem. Harvest is done at the coolest hours of the day, and the winery is located next to the vineyards, so transport of the grapes during harvest is done in the shortest possible time to preserve freshness. The winery is designed in such a way to exploit gravity in the best possible way throughout the winemaking process, applying the minimum possible stress to the raw material. All construction materials are highly inactive and neutral in order to secure completely neutral atmospheric conditions inside the winery, protecting the quality of the grape, must and wine. One of the most important parts of the winery is the underground cellar, which houses the oak casks were Alpha Estate’s wines are aged, at ideal and optimum conditions throughout the year. Angelos Iatridis invented technology specific to the Xinomavro grape, which has many seeds, to filter the seeds away from the juice in order to produce this fresh version of Xinomavro.
Fermentation in stainless steel, 8 months on the lees with regular stirring before 12 months in used French oak barrels and 12 months in the bottle. Vegan.
ALTA ALELLA GX ROSE
Garnatxa Negra and Garnatxa Peluda
Elegant and aromatic fresh-cut strawberry on the nose, with citrus and floral notes.
Bright acidity, ripe fruity notes, and mountainside herbaceousness. Crisp, fresh and very balanced with a distinctive, salty minerality on the palate. The perfect rose for beach day or a picnic!
The Pujol-Busquets Guillén family established Alta Alella in 1991 on the 19th century Can Genís estate by Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets and his wife, Cristina Guilléns. The Alella D.O. is actually the smallest D.O. in Spain. The winery has always practiced certified organic farming techniques, creating a balanced ecosystem that respects the native flora and fauna. They seek to produce ‘transparent’ wines that reflect the terroir of the region. The estate is just two kilometres away from the Mediterranean Sea and a 20 minute drive to Barcelona. The vines are grown on sauló soil, an acidic white granite-based sandy soil with low limestone content, low organic matter and good natural water drainage. This soil is key to the wines produced by Alta Alella. In addition to producing still wines, two thirds of their production is dedicated to cava. Cavas using amphorae partly made from their own sauló.
The drought and high temperatures during the growing season resulted in yields slightly below the usual average, but with very good ripening thanks to the light rainfall in August. The harvest was accelerated to prevent the grapes from becoming raisined. Organic and vegan. Grapes are hand harvested exclusively to produce rosé wine. The grapes are lightly pressed to obtain the first pressing must, which ferments in tanks at a low temperature.