History of Sanguinhal Wines
One of the oldest wineries in Lisbon, Portugal, Agricola Sanguinhal was founded In 1926, by Abel Pereira da Fonseca. He was an innovator, with a passion for his family, grape-growing, and winemaking. He planted Sanguinhal’s first vines on virgin land, which has been farmed without the use of any harsh chemicals ever since, and is now certified with an I.P.M program (Integrated Pest Management). He was also the first in his region to wire-wound vines, which he did on extreme, steep slopes, at a time where there still weren’t tractors. He divided the property into plots based on soil type, utilizing a slightly different approach in each, in order to study the adaptability of more than 30 different grape varieties. People thought he was crazy, but he knew there was a method to what looked like his madness. He clearly had a determination to understand and respect his land, a philosophy which has been instilled into the present day 4th generation of his family who have followed in his footsteps.
Today, Sanguinhal is dedicated to 3 estates or ‘Quintas’, as originally mapped out by Abel, in Obidos, northern Lisbon: ‘Quinta do Sanguinhal’, ‘Quinta das Cerejeiras’ and ‘Quinta de San Francisco.’ The terroir is uniquely diverse, and home to many various forms of wildlife including donkey, sheep, sour cherry trees, olive trees, and more! While Abel’s practices are still utilized and respected, the new generation has brought a modern touch. Benefiting from an equipment upgrade in the winery, they have preserved the heritage of the old barrels and techniques taught by Abel, and showcase a beautiful museum that guests are encouraged to visit. Their vineyards are organic.
Sanguinhal wines are a fantastic example of the culmination of traditional family winemaking and forward-thinking advances, resulting in deliciously well-balanced and approachable wines that tell the tale of their land, and express a distinct freshness that no doubt speaks of the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Wines We Will be Pouring
We will be welcoming Diogo Reis, 4th generation of the founder of Sanguinhal, Abel Fonseca. In the Tasting Room we will be pouring:
Quinta de San Francisco Tinto 2015 ($22.99) – A blend of Castelao (60%), Aragonez (20%), and Touriga Nacional (20%). Dark ruby in the glass with lifted and layered aromas of stewed raspberry and cherry with dark chocolate and soft spice. Juicy entry into a medium mouthfeel that is creamy yet bright with zippy acidity. Intense and persistent vanilla, baking spice, with chocolate covered raspberries, garnished with a hint of mint leaf. An effortless pleasure to enjoy!
- Cerejeiras Tinto 2016 ($10.99) – A blend of Castelao (60%), Aragonez (30%), and Touriga Nacional (10%). Fresh and fruity with black cherries, raspberry, vanilla bean and soft spice. A generous, medium body with ripe tannins and a lovely, juicy finish. Dangerously easy to drink, and easy to love!
Sottal Vinho Leve 2016 ($15.79) – A blend of Moscatel (50%), Arinto (40), and Vital (10%). Slightly effervescent, playing nicely on the sharp minerality and crisp acidity. Notes of green apple skin, underripe honeydew melon, yellow pear, white flowers and just a touch of salinity that rounds out this quaffable white.
- Quinta das Cerejeiras Reserva Branco 2016 ($34.99) – A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Arinto, and 10% Vital. Deep yellow with a complex aroma of unripened apricots and smokey notes. This wine is elegant, fresh and creamy, with the crisp, zippy acidity from the Arinto and Vital balancing the smoother, richer Chardonnay. Persistent yellow pear, kiwi, and toasted walnuts finish off with creamy lemon curd that lingers in the mouth.
Where Else You Can Find Us
Sanguinhal will be featured in the following Seminars & Special Events:
- “Viva Iberia” with Sottal Vinho Leve 2015 & Casabel Tinto 2015
- “Voyage of Discovery” with Quinta das Cerejeiras Reserva Branco 2016
- “Festival Toast” with Quinta das Cerejeiras Reserva Branco 2016 & Quinta das Cerejeiras Reserva Tinto 2016
- “Unravelling Portugal” (WSET Masterclass) with Sottal Vinho Leve 2016