Casa Alexandre Relvas
THE ESTATE The Estate is located in the municipality of Redondo, Alentejo. It has nearly 175ha, 35ha of which are vines planted on clay-schist soils. In order to take maximum advantage of the nature of the soil, the climate and the Region's history in wine, we chose to plant the traditional varieties of the Alentejo region: Aragonês, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet. The cellar has capacity for the estate's production of 500 tonnes of grapes. The winemaking techniques followed combine traditional manual maceration with state-of-the-art techniques such as vinification in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. VINEYARDS The vines were planted in 2001. In order to take maximum advantage of the nature of the soil, the climate and the Region's history in wine, we chose to plant the traditional varieties of the Alentejo region: Aragonês, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet. The planting distance used was 2,8 x 1,2 m, trained in a double cordon Royat. Viewing to guarantee high quality production, the vines are patiently cultivated and vine growing is closely controlled, by means of soil and leaf analyses carried out on a regular basis. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS We have adopted planting techniques viewing the preservation of the environment, namely the following: • Integrated protection, involving rational application of phytofarmaceutical products in the control of plagues and diseases, in order to preserve auxiliary organisms and to avoid the use of products which are harmful to both men and the environment. • Turfing between rows viewing to mitigate erosion and improve soil structure by increasing organic matter. • The planting techniques used aim at guaranteeing high quality production, seeking a balance between the leaf surface and the fruit produced. THE CELLAR The cellar was designed and built in 2003, with capacity for the estate's production of 500,000 bottles. The raw material is subject to strict control from the vine to the moment the final product leaves the cellar. Although harvesting is mechanical, the quality of the grapes is safeguarded as they are immediately transported to the cellar (it takes 30 minutes from the moment they are picked to the moment they arrive at the cellar). The grapes are transported in a bin where their liquid and solid parts are separated, and they are unloaded by means of vibration instead of the traditional augers, in order to prevent damaging the fruit. This also serves to significantly decrease the extraction of herbaceous and aggressive tannins. As far as winemaking is concerned, traditional techniques of manual maceration are combined with state-of-the-art techniques such as vinification in pneumatic presses and temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.
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