Quita do Ameal
The Ameal vineyards are referred to in the annals of the Refóios do Lima convent, which were written some time before 1710. The ancient Quinta do Ameal is situated in one of the oldest parishes in Portugal, established even before the country itself (1143). Quinta do Ameal wine is produced in this sub-region of Lima, where the Loureiro grape variety is at its most aromatic and tasty. The wine is characterised by its freshness and youth, possessing a floral and fruity aroma.
For the last 15 years it has been owned and operated by the Araujo family. Pedro Araujo is a serious winemaker, determined to show that the undervalued terroir and grapes of Vinho Verde can be harnessed to make great wines. He is particularly devoted to the Loureiro variety, which he has planted in favour of other indigenous varieties.
He makes a superior version of what might be considered 'traditional' Vinho Verde, with the tiniest spritz and ultra-clean character. But he also ferments and ages Loureiro in new French oak barrels for six months, and says "The floral character of the Loureiro blends perfectly with the wood aromas, adding to the overall complexity."
Amongst a series of constant innovations Pedro has cut yields from 17 tons per acre to just five tons per acre, mostly through green harvesting. He farms organically, with cover crops - legumes, grasses and clover - grown between rows to loosen soils through the roots and get oxygen into earth. Quinta do Ameal is a very personal, hands-on and high quality operation.
Quinta do Ameal boasts a rich environmental heritage and, in addition to its vines, it is notable for its stunning woodland, which contains oak-trees, walnut-trees and centuries-old stone pines, forming an area of outstanding natural beauty next to the banks of the river Lima. It is considered to be property with exceptional agricultural and ecological potential, as well as an area of historical significance. Today, it is recognised as one of the producers of Portuguese Loureiro varietal wines that is most involved in and responsible for the development of this grape variety.
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