Monção and Melgaço, Vinho Verde DOC
António Luís Cerdeira
Quinta de Soalheiro is a leading wine estate nestled in Portugal’s verdant north, whose story and output is inseparable from the climb to international renown of the Alvarinho variety and the wines from Vinho Verde’s Monção e Melgaço subregion.
Soalheiro was founded in 1974 when João António Cerdeira and his parents, António Esteves Ferreira and Maria Cerdeira took the bold decision to plant a single, sun-soaked parcel of farmland entirely to Alvarinho. At the time, this decision was in stark contrast to the traditional practice of Portuguese farmers, which relegated grape vines to grow up pergolas planted at the periphery of dense cereal crops like maize. It was in this spirit of innovation and progress that one of western Iberia’s great wine producers was born. Today, third-generation siblings Maria João and António Luís, along with their mother Maria Palmira Cerdeira, continue to test limits and break new ground in pursuit of the finest expressions of their territory by way of the noble Alvarinho grape.
Soalheiro Alvarinho has the nickname “Clássico,” as it was the first wine ever to be made by the family, back in 1982. Since then, it remains the most classic style of single varietal Alvarinho, with aromatic freshness, intense flavor, and an unusual evolution in the bottle – it is a wine that goes well with any occasion!
Monção and Melgaço, the most northern region of Portugal, is protected by mountains that form a unique microclimate. This allows a perfect marriage between rainfall, temperature, and the number of hours of sunshine needed for the best maturation of Alvarinho grapes. The microclimate in Monção and Melgaço is especially important during ripening, when hot days alternate with cold nights, it enables the development of fresh and fruity aromas and an acidity that is present, but moderate.WINEMAKING
The grapes are harvested by hand. Between pressing and fermentation, the must is clarified at a low temperature. The wine ferments in stainless steel and matures on fine lees before bottling. The objective of vinification is to obtain a wine that showcases the grapes’ high quality, resulting in good evolution in the bottle.
This wine is produced in a way that is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Soalheiro Alvarinho has a bright, lemon-yellow color. This wine is distinguished by its fresh and elegant fragrance, revealing the aromatic complexity of Alvarinho variety. The flavor has intense tropical and mineral notes that balance perfectly with the acidity and moderate alcohol content.
This wine has the elegance to make an excellent aperitif or to complement lighter-flavored dishes. It pairs well with seafood, grilled fish, white meats, matured cheeses, smoked meats, or Asian and Mediterranean dishes.