Quinta De Santiago 'Vinha do Chapim', Alvarinho, Portugal 2020
This is not your everyday Vinho Verde. It transcends the zippy, lime zesty, everyday quaffer; opening the palate to what the region is capable of on the hands of the new generation. Quinta de Santiago is a family-owned farm spanning 7.5 hectares (18.5 acres) along the banks of the Minho River in the Monção and Melgaço sub-region of Vinho Verde.
It has been in the Santiago family since 1899. Initially, grapes grown in the vineyards were sold to large cooperatives in the region. This changed in 2009 and from the passion and determination of then owner, Grandma Mariazinha Santiago. Following family tradition, the head of the family’s winery is Joana Santiago, a self-described “authentic Minho woman”.
The particular orientation of the Quinta shelters the vineyards from significant Atlantic influences but preserves thermal amplitudes ideal for ripening indigenous varietals. Soil is predominantly clay given the the proximity to the Minho River and viticulture follows organic practices. Joana is hyper-focused on sustainability and biodiversity. She has organized and leads a group of regional growers focused on water use and the preservation of local natural resources. Wines are fermented with native yeasts and the aim is to let this special land and fruit tell the story in the glass.
And you're sure to find this gem special, it is mineral laden with just the right amount of creaminess to balance the bracing acidity.
Pairing: Tuna belly crudo, Salmon tartar, olives, sheep's milk cheeses
Soil: Open clay including rolled flint stones