Factor XPTO: Continue without leaving the place
A pioneer in the creation of Alvarinho in Melgaço, and an international reference for wines of this variety, Soalheiro is located in the center of the Monção and Melgaço valley. In 1974 the passion for viticulture led João António and Palmira Cerdeira, with the support of his parents, to plant the first continuous vineyard of Alvarinho in Melgaço, in a plot called Soalheiro. Eight years later, this vineyard would give the name to the brand: in 1982, the family’s red Ford Escort left the garage to make way for the winery of the First Alvarinho Brand in Melgaço – Soalheiro.
João and Palmira’s children grew up with Soalheiro, left Melgaço to study, and today manage the company with their mother’s help: António Luís Cerdeira is in charge of winemaking, Maria João Cerdeira, a veterinarian by training, is responsible for the viticulture and herbal teas. During these years the family has become a family of families: a team of about 50 people and a Viticulturists’ Club of more than 150 families. The Alvarinho in the region of Monção and Melgaço, the origin of Alvarinho, assumed itself as a middle-class business and created a unique culture where the small Alvarinho parcels are treated as gardens by families that, having other professional occupations, dedicate themselves to viticulture at the end of the day and weekends, obtaining a complementary income. The grapes are among the most expensive in the country, which provides sustainability to agriculture and to this unique landscape: seen from above, these parcels look like a patchwork and each one has the story of a family, just like Soalheiro’s.
It is from the diversity of the natural conditions of Monção and Melgaço and the different plots of familiar viticulture that Soalheiro continues to search for unique profiles of Alvarinho in the Innovation Cellar.