Herdade do Cebolal
Santiago do Cacém
Isabel e Luís Mota Capitão
Herdade do Cebolal is a family project that was founded by my great-great-grandfather Caio de Loureiro at the end of the 19th century. Nowadays the farm is managed by the 4th and 5th generation of wine producers. Herdade do Cebolal is located between Santiago do Cacém mountain and Cercal mountain, on the Costa Alentejana / “Setubal region”, 10 km away from the Atlantic Ocean.
In the last years Portugal has been one of the European countries that has suffered from global warming. To avoid the increase of the heating, we decided to modify our agriculture, so since 2012 we have developed an ecological philosophy of landscape and systems, rehabilitating and regenerating naturally degraded areas, transforming them into productive, sustainable ecosystems with ecological and landscape value.
We practice two types of agriculture:
1.Syntropical agriculture in which we use permaculture principles. In this area we have an
2 In addition to the syntropical agriculture we practice conventional or traditional agriculture.
We produce vineyards with an organic philosophy, using some natural resources.
Herdade do Cebolal has 20ha of vineyards. In recent years we have planted more than 25
white and red grape varieties . Mostly we have Portuguese varieties but we also have some
French varieties. As we are a family project, we can find three generations of vines planted by three generations of wine producers. Our older vines are nowadays about 60/50 years old and the more recent ones are 5/10 years old. We have a diversity of soils rich in clay, sand, gypsum, shale and limestone. As some of the vines are planted at different altitudes it is possible to identified diferent microclimates that are interconnected with our agroforestry.
Do to our ecological philosophy, we use as much as possible natural resources from our region, such as algae or seaweeds (rich in water and organic materials); forest fragments (as organic material); animal – a) sheeps (for herbs control and creation of organic material) and b)bees (as pollination facilitators).
In the last three years we have created forest mosaics with swales and small dams for
exploitation of the morning and night humidity and capture of rainwater. This water will be
used in the agriculture of all the farm.
Our work as a producer is to respect nature without manipulating its natural evolution during
the different seasons of the year. We try to perceive and evaluate what nature can give us and how we can enjoy it without spoiling or altering the ecosystems.