Vinha das Penicas is a project by Alberto Almeida born in a small rural village in the municipality of Coimbra, S. Martinho de Árvore, in the south of the demarcated region of Bairrada. Professional in the field of Mental Health, with a postgraduate degree in psychology, works in the area of addictions. In his free time, he lives his personal addition, which is working in the family's agricultural tasks helping his parents in the work of the lands with which he has established a strong relationship with nature.
And on an impulse, he decides to return to that childhood imaginary connected to the earth and make his first wine in the 2006 harvest, which in reality was the year of the first of many trials, “playing with whites, reds and sparkling wines, a very lonely thing , of an alchemist”, he recalls. He went on like this, “correcting and altering winemaking processes, testing different barrels and extractions”, until 2017.
A few years earlier, in 1997, it was when he discovered “those old vines” that he became fond of and the idea of making his own wine began to occupy his thoughts more and more. His inspiration and references were the great reds from the region of Quinta da Dona, Casa de Saima, Quinta das Bágeiras, among which Alberto Almeida says he developed his taste for Baga wines.
In 2017, the Vinha das Penicas – Vinhedos Antigos project was born, with the aim of creating wines with little intervention, from 2.5 hectares of very old vines saved from abandonment, divided into 4 plots of aged between 70 and 110 years, by the municipalities of Miranda do Corvo and Condeixa.
But it is in 2020, when it officially presents the Vinha Das Penicas white and red 2017, that it finally sees the moment of realizing a dream, a corollary of these 14 years of winemaking trials in the search for a style of wines that conveys the its interpretation, the intimate and essence of a territory - the Lands of Sicó.
Terras de Sicó is a sub-region of the GI Beira Atlântico, with a long winemaking tradition, with excellent conditions for the creation of wines, preserving a unique heritage of ancient vineyards, planted in soils mostly of clay-limestone origin of different variations and soils. with shale outcrops.
This is a territory of excellence for the creation of “author wines”, with a strong emotional charge and the essence of Alberto as a man, whose first concern is not a “commercial obligation, but rather a commitment and a concern for fidelity to a concept".
Vinha das Penicas is a name of great emotional value for Alberto, as it was the name of his childhood vineyard, in São Martinho de Árvore, the vineyard where his father made the wine for the house. In these vineyards, Baga and Fernão Pires dominate, along with more than a dozen other autochthonous varieties. The preservation of the original genetic material is another of Alberto's care, supplying the missing strains in these ancestral vineyards by planting “bracelos bravos” that have been grafted with “forks” from the plots themselves.
From these vineyards come three wines made from vinifications using indigenous yeasts, fermented with stalks, using tiny doses of sulfur dioxide and finished in superior quality used barrels originating in St. Emilion-Bordeaux for reds and Burgundy for whites.
The Vinha das Penicas Vinhedos Antigos white 2017 (in tanning), made from Fernão Pires, Bical, Cercial, Rabo-de-Ovelha and others. The 2017 red is based on Baga along with Bastardo, Rufete, Grand Noir and others. The sparkling wine is composed of Baga, Rufete, Bastardo, Grand Noir, Maria Gomes, Bical, Cercial, Rabo-de-Ovelha, Diagalves and Dona Branca.