Sometimes it is worth discovering new horizons - often amazing (culinary) pearls can be discovered behind them ...! This is exactly what happened when Maître Philippe and his wife Evelyne headed to Portugal for the winter holidays to soak up some sun. There they immediately fell in love with the Alentejo region and its wines. No wonder, since the Alentejo has the highest proportion of winegrowers in the country, is considered one of the most promising wine regions in the country and was voted one of the top 10 "World Wine Regions to visit" by USA Today magazine in 2014.
They were particularly impressed by the wines from the "Alento" line from the young, passionate winemaker Luis Louro.
Since 2006 he has been running the Adega do Monte Branco - the "wine cellar from the white mountain" - in the heart of the Alentejo. In a way, he was born with his profession, because his father Miguel is also a winegrower and runs the Quinta do Mouro. Both wineries are located in Estremoz, a town of 10,000 inhabitants in the Evora district.
Luis' career began in the classic way with a degree in agricultural engineering, after which he worked for 6 years on his father's winery and laid the foundation for his experience. In order to further expand his knowledge of modern viticulture, he then moved to California, where he completed an internship of several months at a local winery. Back in his homeland, he gathered a young team of enthusiastic professionals to make his dream come true: the production of modern, easily accessible quality wines from predominantly indigenous Portuguese grape varieties.
The Adega do Monte Branco, a modern winery with lots of wood, white walls and picture windows that allow a view of the beautiful valley, was built in 2006 on a hill near Estremoz, from which the town and the castle can be seen well.
The estate produces wines from its own vines and those growing on leased land: vines of the Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Touriga National (for red wine) and Roupeiro, Arinto and Antão Vaz (for white wine) varieties grow on 25 hectares of slate and clay soils. The "Alento" wines are the first and most important line of the house. They carry the typical character of the Alentejo wines: they are modern, full of character and convince with an excellent price-performance ratio.
Despite the very short time since the company was founded, word has already gotten around. Robert Parker has awarded previous vintages 86, 87 and 88 points and over 50% of the wine is already exported internationally.
We at Maître Philippe et filles have recently become one of the lucky buyers and we are very happy about this addition!
New in the range are the "Alento Tinto" 2012 (red) and the "Alento Branco" 2014 (white). They are refreshing, great everyday wines made exclusively from autochthonous grape varieties, which go well with any meal and should be drunk young.
Here you can go directly to the wines: red , white and red-white tasting box .
By the way, Luis is expecting his second child in June this year - we are happy for him and his wife Joana!
More impressions of the Adega:
Photos by: Adega do Monte Branco