What am I: Ricardo Melo, founder of Ermegeira, is embarking on a labor of love, restoring and recovering the Quinta da Ermegeira, in the rich and diverse region of Torres Vedras, a historic place full of stories since the 16th century. Ricardo grew up in Brazil, where he was exposed to Portuguese wines from an early age. Over time, through tasting and travel, he got to know and appreciate the diversity of terroirs and grapes that define Portugal's wine landscape. Experience with small and natural-inclined Portuguese wine producers led him to move to the Torres Vedras area of Portugal to produce his own style of wines. He settled on Torres Vedras because of the strong oceanic influence of the area, with persistent cold winds, hot and dry days, and the result of fresh wines with low alcohol content and strong minerality. Ricardo’s intention with Ermegeira is to produce wines naturally without the use of synthetic chemicals or sulfites.
At Quinta da Ermegeira, Ricardo works in a close partnership with José Augusto Fasolo, a noted winemaker in Brazil. Together in the cellar, they produce wines free of any chemicals, with biodynamic procedures and no sulfites. Working with grapes grown in the Torres Vedras terroir, they use Castelão, Alicante Bouschet, and Tinta Roriz for reds and Arinto, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc for whites.
The Cristovan is an orange, or curtimenta, natural wine made from 100% Arinto and is fermented with skins for 10 days. Only 900 bottles made.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Lisboa
Grape Varieties: Arinto
Alcohol by volume: 11%