menina d’uva

Portugal

Trás-os-Montes

Uva

Aline Martins Domingues

Factor XPTO: Fascinated by Planalto Mirandês’ rural life

Aline in direct speech:

“Uva” is the Portuguese word for “grape”. In this village, nestled between mountains and surrounded by dovecotes, locals grow small vineyards and make wine for own consumption.

menina d’uva was born in 2017, after I left Paris and moved to Uva, driven by my strong affection for the land, the vineyards and the rural life. Today, and despite the challenge to convince the locals, I rent 10 small vineyards old plots (total of 3 ha). These old vines, between 40 and 100 years old, are a blend of native varieties, deeply adapted to the climate and soil. At 1,800ft elevation, vines grow on schist or clay soils and benefit from a continental climate, marked by long, cold winters and very warm, dry summers.

The viticulture is completely natural, I use compost to fertilize the soils and I don’t need to apply any treatment (thanks to very dry climate!). This allows me to focused on soil and plant recovery. Because the vineyards have been neglected and intensely  plowed, the pruning is laborious and the soil life restoration a slow process, but fundamental to produce a terroir wine. In a rudimentary, but effective, cellar, whole grapes are foot trodden, and spontaneous fermentation takes place without any temperature control nor additives. The pressing is done manually with a vertical wood press and the wines age in stainless steel and fiber tanks.”

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