In 2003, Jose Ribeiro Vieira purchased a four hectare vineyard in the foothills of Serra de Aire of Cortes, in the Alta Estremadura, near Lisbon. Vale da Mata pays tribute to Vieira’s winemaker father, Manuel, who claimed that Vale de Mata was the site where he succeeded in producing his best wines. The Vale de Mata project respects the expression of its terroir, cultivating the vines sustainably and using minimal intervention in the winery. Manuel gave this wine its name and his granddaughter Catarina Viera has followed in his footsteps, continuing his winemaking legacy. In 2018, Vale de Mata was awarded Best Wine Producer by Revista de Vinhos.
2017 saw lower rainfall throughout the season in comparison to average years. This reduced disease pressure in the vineyards, but it also caused a delay in the vegetative cycle and reduced yields. The harvest took place in warm, dry conditions resulting in fruit with good maturation levels and a good depth of flavour concentration.
Vale da Mata is the name of a small, old vineyard located in the foothills of Serra de Aire, in Cortes. The vineyard has a maritime climate and is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The parcel is just a few hectares and is situated on a steep terrain with rocky soil. The land is extremely hard to work and is cultivated manually, with winter pruning and green harvesting taking place by hand. Protected to the north, it has good sunlight exposure throughout the day and is surrounded by olive trees, fig trees, walnuts and shrubs. Vale de Mata is associated with several sustainable programmes; they are a member of the FSC and grow all their grapes according to organic philosophies. The vines are trained according to the Cordon Royat method and the grapes are manually harvested at optimum maturity.
The wine was made following a philosophy of minimal intervention. The field blend grapes were carefully sorted and then co-fermented using only indigenous yeasts. The blend was then aged in French oak barrels for 10 months, imparting subtle complexity, followed by a further six months in bottle.
Floral notes combine with lively red fruits and well integrated oak. Smooth and round on the palate, with a bright acidity that leaves a vibrant, lifted finish.
Touriga Nacional 50%, Tinta Roriz 30%, Syrah 20%