What am I: Vinho da Ordem, or Vineyard of the Order, is located in the village of Valhelhas, in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, in a hidden valley on the left bank of the Zêzere River. The region is Beira Interior, between the towns of Belmonte and Guarda.
The vineyard has been in the current family’s hands since 1900, though there is evidence that vines have been on the property since at least 1834. In conjunction with the Portuguese government and research-focused institutions, the Jeronimo family, led by winemaker Pedro Jeronimo, are engaged in cataloging and preserving grape DNA material from this vineyard. This DNA shows the presence of ancient Portuguese grape varietals not seen anywhere in Portugal for many years.
Vinho da Ordem Tinto is a wine that takes you back to an older time in Portugal. The wine is made in open stone lagar, and spontaneously fermented. The grapes include Rufete, Jaen, Bastardinho, Marouco, Fologosao Rosado, and others that are yet to be identified. Both red and white grapes are used in this wine, according to the tradition of old winemaking regions in Portugal. The wine is noteworthy for its unique flavor profile of dried fruits, spice-box, sandalwood, and a distinct minerality reminiscent of the mountains on a chilly fall day.
Only 466 bottles produced.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Beira Interior
Grape Varieties: Rufete, Marufo, Siria, Fonte Cal, Folgosão Rosado
Alcohol by volume: 13%