Vidigueira. From the amphitheater on the top floor of the cellar, the gentle slopes overlap as far as the eye can see. The dividing lines are discovered by the curvatures of the hills, lines made of trees, with floating lines of upright vines. The sound of the water from the waterfall in the courtyard, peace, the musical orchestration of the countryside, the light that illuminates and warms our faces, makes us cling to the chair in contemplation. It is in this cellar, factory, made of many spaces, areas for people, places for culture, also sacred, intimate spaces, reserved for the fine tuning of wines, the authentic jewels and gems. Everything is well camouflaged in the landscape, hidden by the mud walls, of pure Alentejo art, which, among other attributes, allows thermal stability for the conservation of wines. After all, we are in the hot Alentejo. But this Alentejo do Rocim is special. Is different! This framed photograph has a story. It has stories and plots.
Travelling back to the year 2000. Emblematic year, end and beginning of a new century, beginning of new times, of new dreams. It was then in these new times that father and daughter embarked on their dreams. José and Catarina hoisted the sail to adventure, from Leiria to Alentejo, rolled up their sleeves, to shape the earth, to sculpt the imagined wines. The dream, the emotion went hand in hand with reason. After all, they are people used to numbers, to the organization, to the competitiveness of the business world. Along with others who joined them on this trip, creativity, dynamism and teamwork were the tools that wine would later demonstrate and reward. They wanted to make a difference by the quality of the vineyard, by the personality of the wines, to leave their mark. From the very first moment, some of the most renowned specialists in viticulture and oenology contributed to the project. Starting the right way was the key.
Today, it is Catarina and her husband Pedro Ribeiro, who lead the project. Catarina Vieira takes care of viticulture, she who only wanted a small piece of land to put into practice what she learned from the best, works with immeasurable diligence, with seriousness and transparency, in something already much bigger than the dream. Pedro Ribeiro, oenologist and director-general, who arrived with the train in progress, like a high-speed locomotive, gave the project a new speed, of dynamics, creativity, difference and a lot of quality. The wines show the flavor of the property's terroirs, they have to invoke the diversity of the 70 hectares of vineyards. The winemakers are concerned with the environment, sustainability is an indisputable pillar, as is the preservation of nature. Their symbol on the labels is Linaria ricardoi, a rare plant, on which Rocim is actively dedicated to its preservation. Everything has to be integrated! Good wines always come from good grapes, so viticulture in Rocim is the basis of everything. In the 70 hectares of vines, 20 hectares are of old vines already existing before the acquisition, planted in sandy soils, with only traditional varieties, 60% are red. The remaining area of vines, there are national and international grape varieties, of different ages.
The oenological philosophy is that of minimal intervention, only with wild yeasts, joining the knowledge of modern oenology to the knowledge of ancestral forms of winemaking, such as Alentejo carvings. Not by chance, Herdade do Rocim had the pioneer initiative of Amphora Day, a celebration around carved wines, an ancestral tradition in the Alentejo region, but which also discloses other wine-producing countries that use this traditional method.
The story follows and will develop and develop, under the blessing of Vidigueira's exceptional freshness, a different Alentejo, which at the hands of Rocim makes the wines that are born here vibrate with energy and sophistication.