What am I: Vitor Claro São Bento
Vítor Claro was a force among Lisbon area chefs from 2010 to 2016, having restaurants in downtown Lisbon as well as Cascais. It was through a partnership with Dirk Niepoort that he gave Vitor a taste of winemaking life. Over time, Vitor came to crave the rigor and agricultural demands of winemaking more than the cuts and burns of the kitchen, and eventually, he gave himself completely to viticulture.
Focusing at the beginning on almost hidden, almost forgotten plots of old vines in the hills above Portalegre, in the Serra de São Mamede, Vitor and his wife Rita wanted to show a different face of the Alentejo – a fresher face, with bright fruit, levels of moderate alcohol, and the clear influence of the mountain’s altitude. Its first wines were made in the small village of Salão Frio in Serras de Portalegre.
With his drive to discover and restore more of Portugal’s old and sometimes abandoned vineyards, his portfolio has grown to include wines from Arruda dos Vinhos, Torres Vedras, Sintra, and more recently Carcavelos – a name that brings wine magic along with it. for those who know its history.
Facing the northern horizon, a blend of native grapes. Rooted in granite and clay soils at 640 meters above sea level, this vineyard captivates. A gentle press initiates the transformation, followed by a 3-month fermentation within stainless steel vats. Then, a year of maturation transpires in 1400-liter barrels.