In the depths of Alentejo, between Évora and Serra d'Ossa, lay thirteen hectares of ecological land where the vine lives alongside the grazing, the mounted and the cork oak, millennial olive trees and where some extremely rare specimens live, such as the black stork, in a privileged habitat. In this unique terroir, at an altitude of 450 meters, that some of the most interesting wines of the region are produced under the experienced hand of Pedro Vasconcelos e Sousa, in a subterranean cellar.
The centenary farm, born in the Redondo’s council, in a peaceful landscape that reminds a bucolic Eden, hard to find, nowadays. In this place, amongst the traditional cultures of the region, a partnership between Pedro Vasconcelos e Sousa and a few investors was born, allowing the cultivation of castes well adapted to the terroir and also the construction of an underground cellar, a Frederico Valsassina’s project that earn a name for itself in foreign lands.
Endless vines, planted at an altitude of 450 meters, which allows them to take advantage of the night coolness. There grow Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet, amongst other red castes, and Arinto, Alvarinho and Sauvignon Blanc, amongst other white varieties.
The water availability, the terrain’s altitude and the solar inclination, allow the preservation of the freshness and aromas of the wines that are there produced, but it is at the cellar que the fusion of the tradition and modernity are so candidly celebrated.
Built with the purpose of leaving the landscape unscathed, the cellar rises under the vines, consistent of three floors that allow to hoist the grapes few minutes after being harvested, to start the low temperature maceration. After putting the grapes in column vats, previously cooled down with gravity, with no pressure or pumping, the soft and long pressing takes place.
The well-designed structure of this 3 floor building allows to hoist the red grapes in column vats, previously cooled down with gravity, with no pressure or pumping, where a robot initiates the soft and long pressing. The wines are then developed at the deepest of the three underground floors, at 15º to 18º degrees, with high humidity, where the staging in French or American oak barrels (depending on the caste and the selected batch) take place.
No wonder that the Herdade do Freixo’s wines, given the diligence in the execution of the stages of their production, have earned the respect of critics and wine enthusiasts. João Paulo Martins, highlights a range of remarkable whites and exceptional reds, to which he assesses very high scores, on Guia de Vinhos, Portugal’s most recommended wine guide. The white Sauvignon Blanc is praised for its Bordeaux’ style, good acidity and volume on the mouth. The Chardonnay, for its clearness and delicate aromas, being “very attractive on the nose”. In turn, the Reserva White, awarded 17 values, is an exemplar of balance beetwen body, acidity and the vibrant aromas. Looking at the reds, the Reserva (blend of Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alfrocheiro, in a “new world, but distinctive and polished style”) and the Family Collection (that besides the previous castes also includes Petit Verdot) stand out, deep in color, “stern but very rich, with black plums and bitter chocolate, light floral notes…”, concludes the critic.
At Herdade do Freixo is then fulfilled its original founder’s ambition: the deep fellowship with the northeast Alentejo’s terroir, wisely balanced by production processes of high international levels, in service of wines that stand out by their “concentration, longevity, freshness and finesse”.