Quinta de Sant'Ana Verdelho 2018

11,80 €

A Verdelho wine with light crystalline yellow. Aromas of fresh, crunchy pear and stone fruits. Smooth and concentrated on palate with exotic fruit showing alongside bright minerality and hints of dried flowers and hay. Long fruit-foward finish with gorgeous acidity.

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Producer Producer: Quinta de Sant'Ana do Gradil
Winemaking: António Maçanita
Region Lisboa Regional
Grapes Verdelho (100%)
Soil Gradil, Mafra, the grapes grow in two vineyards on slopes: one with an exposition west/east with a trellising system Smart-Dyson, and the other north/south with vertical trellising. Both soils are deep and cool.
Winemaking Selected, handpicked grapes reach the winery in boxes of 20 kg. Smooth pressing of whole bunches by pneumatic press to extract the best must, which is allowed to settle for one day at 7°C to decant the best juice. Fermented in steel vats at low temperatures (12/14°C)
Aging Bottled after 6 months in tank in order to maintain its
aromatic potential.
Volume Alcohol by Volume: 12,5%
Bottle Size: 75 cl
Temperature 8ºC - 10ºC
Harmonizations Fish, seafood and salads.

This romantic Quinta, bordering with the Tapada de Mafra, (formerly the Portuguese King’s hunting grounds), dates back to 1633 and has been lived in by many different owners from the most varied backgrounds. One thing they shared: a fascination for this place in the rolling hills of the “Saloio” region, the fertile region where Lisbon’s groceries grew. They all left their footprints adding to the beauty of the Quinta.

Quinta de Sant’Ana had been producing wine since it was founded in 1630 but it had seen better days when Ann parents Gustav and Paula von Fürstenberg purchased the property in 1969. For Ann these were the most idyllic place for grow up in; old vineyards interspersed with fruit trees, potatoes and garlic, all divided into a chaotic yet romantic patchwork of different cultures. The beautiful winery, which had produced over 80,000 litres of wine in its heyday, lay practically dormant. Her parents embraced the Portuguese style of life in the countryside and set about improving things with quality wine production in mind; the land was cleared, drains were laid, and the ground prepared for plantation. But fate was against them – and amidst the political uncertainty of the 1974 “Carnation Revolution”, they were forced back to Germany and for almost 20 years, the estate was left semi-abandoned. The Quinta’s caretaker continued living here with his family, although winemaking continued the traditional way, most vineyards and the winery became neglected. Although they came back often to spend their summers at the farm, the wine project had to wait… Finally, in 1992, Ann brought James to visit the Quinta. They fell in love with rejuvenating the project Ann parents had started before the revolution. Participating in the wine harvest that year gave them great insight into the traditional methods of winemaking, using the ancient equipment where the results were often dubious!

In 1999 Ann end Janes decided to make a foray into the viticultural world planting 2.4 hectares of new vines with varieties Aragonês, Castelão and Fernão Pires. Their homemade wine became somewhat more drinkable, but most of the grapes were sold. It was only in 2004 that the project was formally launched when a friend and viticulturist David Booth introduced them to the 24-year-old António Maçanita, who at that stage was fresh out of university. António has been their winemaker ever since.

From the outset, they decided with António that rather than produce quantity, they would concentrate on making wine of the best possible quality, and their market was to be niche; that of wine lovers who appreciate complexity and variety. They, therefore, decided to plant a large spectrum of different grape varieties, both Portuguese and international. From experiences in other areas of Portugal, António recognised early on that they had a unique cool climate in Quinta de Sant’Ana, suitable for exciting varieties such as Pinot Noir, Alvarinho and Riesling.

After 2005 they gradually increased their vineyards, reaching an area of 10.5 hectares in 2009, when they had a selection of 5 white and 4 red varieties. The project stabilised, they took a breath and waited to see in which direction the vines and wines took them. With their love of nature and the rich diversity of species that this land host, it wasn’t long before James mind was set on converting to organic farming. They were determined to enhance the ecosystems in herbicide-free environment, liberating the vines from their reliance on conventional chemicals. Over the years they have seen that the vines have become more resistant to disease, learning to cope on their own. The variety of flora and fauna have increased magnificently, much to the delight of their bees! One almost forgets to mention the resulting wines! They are convinced that they have reached a new level of complexity and varietal expression that is most exciting.

In 2013 they planted two new varieties, both Portuguese and local to us; Arinto and Ramisco. This represents their long-term goal of adopting predominantly local Portuguese varieties. Their planting continues with the ambitious conversion of eucalyptus forest that they have ripped up on a rugged north-facing slope. Here they plan to plant vines of cool climate-loving varieties, indigenous trees where the land is too steep and rocky, and many cover crops to fix the soil and improve soil health.

With António’s appetite to experiment, and push limits, and with Ann and James willing to take risks and enjoy the adventure of new experiences, the future of Quinta de Sant’Ana promises to continue to be exciting and full of surprises.

The Land, Winemaking and Integrated Sustainability
Quinta de Sant’Ana is blessed with a unique micro-climate of cool nights, cloudy, misty mornings and sunny afternoons. The soils are predominantly calcareous clay, deep and humid at the foot of the slopes. This is where you find the white vines, the resulting grapes convert into wines with remarkable freshness and minerality, matching the soil. The reds are planted on the steep upper slopes with shallower topsoil which becomes baked in the summer, the hydric stress and extra sun exposure are essential for ripening grapes in the Atlantic climate.

In the carefully modernized cellar the ripe, handpicked grapes are used to produce distinctive characterful wines, which vividly reflect our interesting corner of Portugal. Their philosophy on winemaking is of minimum intervention, allowing the natural characteristics of their terroir to shine through in the wines.

Nowadays Quinta de Sant’Ana is divided into twelve hectares of vineyards, twenty hectares of woods, and the remainder gardens, orchards and wild grassland. Here the boundary between "cultivated" and "wild" is blurred and conserving the estate’s fauna is important. As well as the vineyards, they have planted more than a thousand different trees, including umbrella pines, cork oaks, cypresses as well as citrus, olive, peach and walnut trees.

They strongly believe in responsible, sustainable vineyard management, ensuring the health of the soil and vines now and for future generations. Quinta de Sant’Ana is the home of Ann, James and their 7 children, and the vineyards are part of Quinta’s wider ecosystem – they do their utmost to encourage its natural vitality and diversity.

They care deeply about the soils and are committed to conducting their business in harmony with nature. Great care is taken to prevent erosion by planting cover crops and channelling surface rainwater away from the steep slopes. Their flock of English Suffolk sheep can roam around the farm in the winter, keeping weeds down and fertilizing the ground as they go.

The humming sound of bumblebees and insects affirm the healthy environment in which these wines are made. Over the years organic growing practices and integrated sustainability have been part of every decision they make – lowering our crop yield but visibly increasing the quality together with an abundant flora of wildflowers, herbs and grasses.

Dry Sweet
Un-oaked Oak aged
Light Full-bodied
Drink now To cellar

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