António Figueiredo became a man breathing in the breeze of the vineyards, steeped in the family winemaking culture and tradition. His father and grandfather left him a taste for wine, which has always coursed through his veins. However, his entrepreneurial streak took him into the sausage business. But wine was always close by. He continued the habit of making wine, for some time, only for his own consumption. Bottling and having his own brand of wine was, for decades, a dream that was constantly postponed.
When he took over the property that belonged to his grandparents in Lajeosa, in Oliveira do Hospital, the so-called Quinta Vale do Cesto, where centenary vines and a winery were already in place, his desire to make his own wine, to make quality wine, gained a decisive boost. And it was then that, between 2014 and 2015, a wine project began, with the renovation of the facilities, improvement of the vineyard and the planting of a new vineyard. António Figueiredo had three large terraces built on mostly granite and not very fertile soils for the new vineyard. These patamares were supported by walls made of huge stones taken from the earth, made to measure. And it is these walls that give the name to one of his brands, Muros Vadios (stray walls).
António then bought a nearby property which had a very old vineyard (over 80 years old) with all the grape varieties mixed together, but which was in a bad state, and has since been restored.
Counting the new and very recent extension to the vineyard, there are now 15 hectares of vineyard divided into three quintas with a radius of approximately 10 km.
António intends to make quality wines that show the character of these terroirs, the not very fertile granite soils surrounded by pines, cedars, in a cold and rainy climate in winter and very hot and dry in summer, under the strong influence of the Serra da Estrela. The vines are located in the sub-region of Alva at an altitude of between 470 and 550 metres.
Besides the old vines in existing field blends, the red grapes Touriga Nacional were planted with 50%, Jaen and Alfrocheiro with 15% each, and in the other 20%, Tinta Pinheira and two foreign grape varieties (Syrah and Cabernet Sauvigon). The white grapes are predominantly Encruzado and Malvasia fina, with some Cerceal, Borrado das Moscas and Fernão Pires.
Most of the red wines are still made in granite presses, foot trodden, followed by ageing in oak barrels or partially in stainless steel. The white wines are vinified in stainless steel with some ageing in French oak barrels.
Among its brands, the "Muros Vadios" stands out for wines made from grapes from the "patamares", full of character and vigour, but always with the elegance of the Dão. The brand "Alva Magna" is presented as a single-varietal or in blends that take advantage of the older vines, always alluding to the river Alva that gives its name to the sub-region, and the "Quinta Vale do Cesto" is the label for the project's great reserves.
A small and family project that has in Patrícia Figueiredo, António's daughter, the very visible face of Quinta Vale do Cesto and in charge of communication and marketing.
Wine tourism wasn't forgotten either, being part of the Dão Wine Route - Roteiro Terras de Alva - offering wine tastings, visits to the winery and vineyard and the possibility of buying wine in the shop.