Gardunha Sul is the name of the own project with which André Lourenço finally decides to move forward after 15 years of working side by side with some of the most relevant and influential winemakers in Portugal.
He yearned to produce his wine. A wine based on its ideas, on its concept, something that was a pending desire, often postponed and saved for the right moment. The idea is to make a wine in Beira Baixa, in a more uncomplicated way and more focused on the essence of the grape and on the place, the origin, and made in a much less interventionist attitude than what I did professionally. To create a wine as if going back in time to its familiar past of producing “homemade” wine, more artisanal wine. In addition, his wines would have to be unique, original, which he could only achieve by using traditional grape varieties, old varieties that are in a phase of abandonment or half-forgotten, local grape varieties with a strong connection to the origin, the people and the land. André, saw himself on a mission to rescue this unique and often ruined heritage to which he attributed the role of the identity pillar of the small-scale wine project to traditional grape varieties. In 2020, during the first confinement caused by Covid-19, the Gardunha Sul project began to take a more concrete form. The idea of making wine in his own name, in his own premises, led to the conversion of an unoccupied space on the family farm in Fundão, into a winery. The location of the winery allows us to combine the grapes from the south side of Gardunha, grapes with better maturation due to the hot and dry climate, with the grapes from the north of Gardunha, which mature later because of the more temperate climate and which gives more elegant wines. , less alcoholic and with increased natural acidity. This combination will result in a natural balance of wines. In 2020, however, he found himself unable to use these facilities, which led him to contact small winegrowers in the West zone (Torres Vedras), to ensure healthy grapes, clean of chemicals and subject to minimal intervention. Vineyards where only copper and sulfur and some biodynamic preparations were used. The vinification, also with minimal intervention, took place in a cellar in Torres Vedras, where we tried to respect the grape as much as possible, not using any type of additions to the fermentation process, and using natural methods of clarification: the cold of winter . Wines are not filtered. Before bottling, a small dose of SO2 was added to ensure the stability of the wine over time. In 2021, the Gardunha Sul project was officially launched, based in Vale de Prazeres, in Fundão, but still unable to vinify there due to the thorny bureaucracy. Thus, the 2021 harvest took place just like the 2020 harvest, with the grapes coming from small farmers in Torres Vedras, and the vinification was carried out in the same cellar. The expectation of knowing the sensations of true Gardunha wines grows even more with these wines full of soul and sensitivity where the essence of the grape and the place speaks louder.