The Eugénio de Almeida Foundation acquired Tapada do Chaves In July 2017. The new administration relaunched the wines produced on the estate and regained the fame that the wines once achieved. «Tapada do Chaves wines have always been among the most prestigious wines in Portugal. Recognized for their genuineness and quality, they conquered a mythical aura, being among those elected by an elite of consumers and oenophiles from Portugal to Brazil, “says José Mateus Ginó.
Produced from grapes in the “Tapada” in an Alentejo that does not look like Alentejo. We do not find in it the traditional characteristics of the plains to be lost sight of or the roads that rip right through the properties. In this North Alentejo the green is greener. And cooler. We are in the district of Portalegre on the slope of the Serra de São Mamede. On a granite massif stands a rustic hill, and spreads out an old vineyard, more than 100 years old. The village of Frangoneiro is very close to Portalegre, in lands of Alto Alentejo, is a property that gives origin to wines of recognized quality almost 100 years ago. With 60 hectares of land and 32 hectares of vineyards, 23 of which are grapes of red grapes and nine hectares of white grape varieties, Tapada do Chaves is located in an area heavily influenced by the landscape (Serra de São Mamede) and the forest that gives it a specific and decisive microclimate for the quality and typicality of the wines produced there.
There are rare Alentejo wine-growing properties that have accumulated over a century of existence. Located under a granite massif and with a generous altitude that allows the slow and full maturation of the grapes which is reflected in very pure aromas in the wines and a singular freshness in the reds and whites.
José Mateus Gino (Photo Aboce) and Oenologist Pedro Batista
The Tapada do Chaves wines were born in the vineyards of the property that gives them the name, aged between 15 and 116 years old from which grapes of red varieties such as Trincadeira, Aragonez, Castelão and Tinta Francesa and white of the varieties Fernão Pires, Arinto, Alva and Tamarez.
In Tapada do Chaves, two of the oldest Alentejo vineyards in production, Pedro Batista, the oenologist in the presentation at the Pátio de S. Miguel in Évora of the “Tapado do Chaves Project” refers to the registration in the years 1901 and 1902, having undergone a deep restructuring in the early 60’s of the 20th century. The commercial exploitation of the ‘Tapada do Chaves’ brand began in 1965. The main destination market for the wines produced in this house began to be the Lisbon restoration of reference, which contributed to a rapid and significant recognition of ‘Tapada do Chaves. In 1920 is planted the first plot of vine with the Trincadeira Aragonez Periquita and Tinta Francesa varietes. The planting of strains for white wine only occurred in 1946 with the varieties Arinto, Alva, João Pires, Vale Grosso and Tamarez. The vineyards were planted in granite soils, with gentle slopes and intense sun exposure.
At the beginning of its history, Tapado do Chaves wasn’t widely disseminated to the intern market despite the enviable track record that can still be seen today in the different rooms that make up the rustic house of this property.
The first ‘Tapada do Chaves’ was bottled in 1965. Its marketing was essentially destined to the best restaurants in the country.
To have a Tapada do Chaves wine on the table or in the cellar was having the best that the Alentejo could provide. The main features of these famous wines was the freshness and a generous velvety body. The longevity of these wines, especially the red ones, is also one of its glories.
During the 60s and 70s the technical manager was João Synarle and, from 1987 and for some years João Portugal Ramos.
The new, modern, state-of-the-art wine cellar was built in 1994. The wine cellar, equipped with modern technology, aligns traditional winemaking techniques with the most modern technologies, ensuring wine quality and authenticity. Due to its structure and construction, almost all the work is done by gravity, avoiding press operations and excessive pumping, extracting from the grape only what benefits the wine.
The house was enlarged and a large basement was created, where the wines in the French and Portuguese oak barrels are maturing.
In 1998 the Agricultural and Commercial Society of Varosa, holder of the Murganheira brand, saw a competitive advantage here and bought the property. The change process were led by the winemaker Orlando Lourenço. The vineyard has been restructured and the wine cellar modernized. The Pérola variety was planted, also known by Malvasia Rei.
The objective of the new administration is to reinforce the presence of red and white wines in the high-end segment, creating wines of unique quality, based on a project that can be translated as winemaking and the brand that helped to leverage the region of origin returns with a new energy and its well-known image. Tapada do Chaves wines are located in a different Alentejo and are born of centuries-old vineyards.
The Eugénio de Almeida Foundation (FEA), which owns Cartuxa, has bought the Tapada do Chaves brand of wines, with decades of history and significant weight in the affirmation of Alentejo as a region producing quality wines. Pedro Baptista is in charge of oenology, the same man behind the famous Pêra Manca — top wine, one of the most expensive in Portugal and the 30 best wines in the world.
A NEW IMAGE
There has been a change in the image of Tapada do Chaves wines following the presentation of the new harvests, led by the winemaker Pedro Baptista and the administration of the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation. The wines with classic characteristics of the Alentejo gained an image that is inspired by the origin of the brand. The labels were refined, gaining a classic, yet contemporary look. Just like the wines.
It is a manual work, a craftsman’s work, suitable for the boutique wines that are now presented.
The brand’s name stands out from a white background, inspired by notebooks with a vintage look.
The place of origin of the vineyards, the town of Frangoneiro, is again highlighted. Tapada do Chaves, a classic wine of Alentejo at the highest level.