I don’t know about you, but I do know when wine sings to my soul I’m in my happy place… This time it’s Herdade do Esporão, located in Alentejo’s oak cork forests, in Portugal. They can be found in the Reguengos de Monsaraz region, and it was a stunning visit.

Harmonious Libations: When Wine Sings to My Soul

Harmonious Libations: When Wine Sings to My Soul

Visiting one of the Wines of Alentejo USA, it had been 14 years since my last visit. The Alentejo has it’s “now” focus down pat. Since Romans invaded Portugal 2,000 years ago, they’re now circling back for the best methodology. Esporão was my very last visit, before my colleagues and I headed to other parts of the world. For me it was a much needed visit to Lisbon, before returning to California.

This winery was a great way to wrap-up our extraordinary explorations, with some seriously beautiful wines. At this state-of-the-art winery, the lake views and gardens were captivating. We arrived at sunset were alluring, to say the least.

Entering The Grounds

Esporão Entrance, a warm welcome

Esporão Entrance, a warm welcome

Below is a Talha collage with a focus on Esporão. When visiting each winery, we had tours of their wine cellars, and we had a scheduled wine tastings. In Dr. Paul James White’s book Talha Tales, he writes about (Chapter three) Talha’s Resurrection. Fourteen years ago, when I was visiting the Alentejo Region, I can only remember seeing Talhas at CARMIM. On this past November’s trip, Talhas were everywhere… I mean EVERYWHERE. (wineries, restaurants, gift shops, paintings, hotels, and on and on).

I definitely witnessed what was an unknown oddity 14 years ago, to what is now defining the Alentejo. I loved Esporão’s wine cellar, filled with Talhas. Theirs are big, beautiful, and breathtaking. The collection of clay pots below (In Evora) speak to how this region has evolved into Talha Centric. There’s no looking back, now. If you don’t believe it, book yourself into St. Martin’s Day for 2024.

Examples of Talhas

Talha collage with a focus on Esporao

Talha collage with a focus on Esporão

Once back in Sonoma County, I was sent samples of newly released wines from Esporão, and the flavors still linger.

About the wines, as sent to me through the winery, by Jane Kettlewell. “Esporão Reserva Red and White are authentic Alentejo classics, each from a part of the world where blends are the norm and the skills entailed in crafting expertly made blends are passed down and improved upon from one generation of winemakers to the next.”

I really enjoyed the Esporão’s samples: the Reserva Red 2021 ($23)… sipping and deliberating. The wine has complex, flavors, and what I remembered, while at the winery. This new one was a newly released, since there in November. They are also committed to Organic. The extra effort in crafting wines is of great benefit for us all.

A Perfect Tasting

Esporão. Herdade do Esporão wines

Esporão. Herdade do Esporão wines

The grape varieties with this Esporão’s Reserva Red 2021: Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon (CS). A delicious blend, and what’s fun for me is tasting varieties that are indigenous to the Wines of Portugal. We can also expect a bit of gratuitous CS. The wines of Portugal aren’t overwhelming (great advantage for me). The Cab adds a bit of tannin, for staying power. You might be inspired to taste it, too, to know how delicious this wine really is.

I love their ethic, quoting from their Website: “Who We Are ~ The Esporão project began in the Alentejo from an irrepressible desire to make the finest wines. This is the basis of everything we do and something we extend to other products and regions.

“Everywhere, nature inspires us and helps us to improve. We respect and protect it, building a more promising future…and believe that companies should serve society, and not the other way around. We aim to always operate in a responsible fashion. This responsibility is neither abstract nor merely collective: it is individual, including everyone who is involved with Esporão.”

Herdade do Esporão striving for perfection

Herdade do Esporão striving for perfection

A Quote From Creative Palate

Jane Kettlewell: “Esporão is Alentejo’s largest wine producer and the most widely distributed in the U.S. Under the direction of the Roquette Family, Esporão has established itself as the driving force behind a revitalized Alentejo wine industry. They are a pioneer of sustainable agriculture and certified organic winegrowing. As of 2019, all 1,317 acres of the Herdade do Esporão estate have been certified organic. Instead of chemicals and pesticides, vineyard health and maintenance are largely taken care of by bats, birds, and flocks of sheep – with a little human oversight, plus help from some of the smartest, most photogenic sheepdogs on the planet.”

The property, which adjoins the Alqueva lake, dam and world-famous Alqueva dark sky reserve, is also home to Alentejo’s largest facility producing (amazing!) extra virgin olive oil. Visitors can also enjoy Esporão’s wonderful wine bar and green-star Michelin restaurant.”

Their wines, when poured into my glass, reflect harmony.

 

Herdade do Esporão wines

Herdade do Esporão wines