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In charge of Professor Virgílio Loureiro and Professor Manuel Ferreira, the recovery of the ancient oenology and tradition of the production of medieval red wines, was the motto for this adventure.

Image by Rowan Heuvel

Recently recognized by the UNESCO Estrela Geopark, Vinha da Ordem, carries with it the testimony of centuries of winemaking tradition, as well as a natural and geological heritage to be preserved in the heart of Serra da Estrela Natural Park.

Since the foundation of Portugal in the 12th century, monks of various religious orders have produced wine in Vinha da Ordem, justifying the name because the "Vinha da Ordem" is known and from this peculiar wine comes.

Inspired by the tradition of the production process of red wines from the Middle Ages and using grapes from centenary strains of ancient varieties, a claret wine was produced, as result of a family desire to preserve history, to maintain the heritage and share the knowledge that our ancestors bequeathed to us.

Vinho da Ordem wine is made with a mixture of white and red varieties previously defined at the time of planting the vineyard, many decades ago, according to centuries-old traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. The grapes are vinified with tanning so that the final wine is claret, which in the Middle Ages was known as red wine and had a deep religious significance, as it had the colour of the "Blood of Christ".

The grape varieties used in this wine from the past are representative of the old variety of Beira Interior and include Rufete, Jaen, Bastardo, Marufo and Baga, among the reds, and Fonte Cal, Syria and Folgasão Rosado, among the whites and pinks. Many other varieties almost extinctic are unknown, awaiting the evolution of a study for their eventual identification.

The use of such diversified white, red and pink, early and late varieties is due to the fact that a vineyard with a greater variety of grape varieties is better protected from the weather and pests, because if in one year some are saved in the next, others will be saved.

This was a simple and wise way that the ancestors used to prevent significant production losses caused by climatic instability. The advantages translate into fewer treatments and an always different wine, depending on the varieties that best resist frost, hail and thunderstorms, allowing a different experience in each harvest. - Virgílio Loureiro.

Recently we started the vinification of orange wine, white wine with skin maceration. A white made as if it were a red, thus obtaining an orange colour, with a complex structure and with evident tannins that allow an excellent aging in the bottle.

We leave a special thanks to Professor Virgílio Loureiro and Professor Manuel Ferreira who, with their knowledge, enthusiasm and persistence, have been recovering and keeping alive the rare and authentic wines of our ancestors, such as the Vinho da Ordem.

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