The Cortém Vinhos vineyards are located in Estremadura,
(Lisbon wine region) with the DOC of Óbidos, in a hilly area Countryside near Caldas da Rainha, about 15 km from the Atlantic Ocean.
The climate is moderate to cool, with a strong maritime influence and summer temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees. Sea fog at night in summer provides moisture to the vines through the leaves. No watering is required.
The Organic Winery Cortém is on the same latitude as the southern tip of Italy. The sun's radiation is high in summer, but at low ambient temperatures, resulting in intense, well-structured organic wines that only reach their best after 5 years of storage.
The DOC of Óbidos is not one of the best-known wine-growing regions in Portugal, although wine-growing was initiated by Cistercian monks from Alcobaça as early as the 13th century. Vidais, the name of the municipality where the winery is located, goes back to the Latin name for grapevines. 2 million liters of wine were made here every year in the 1920s! After that, viticulture was practiced here only sporadically, but today viticulture is returning to this area. Not without reason, as one can taste from the organic wines from Cortém.
The vineyards of Córtem were replanted between 2000 and 2005 on cleared fields that had been unused for 30 years and were organically managed from the start. The company has been fully organically certified since 2010.
The vineyards are situated in a sheltered valley with no public roads and only a few houses in its vicinity, making for a very clean and tranquil environment. The vineyards are small and surrounded by vegetation, flowers, herbs and trees whose scents can affect the grapes and the taste of the wines. It is a concept of "air-oir" (like terr-oir) as defined by Clark Smith in his book Post Modern Winemaking, Giving Each Vineyard a Unique Touch".
The vines are farmed organically with traditional cover crops in the rows, the cuttings of which are left on the ground and mulched to preserve the soil's organic content. Every 5 years we add basalt rock dust from a local quarry to increase the availability of minerals and trace elements. The harvest and vineyard management is done by hand.
Planting with a large number of different grape varieties not only shows different properties in the vineyard, but also in the glass.
The grape varieties cultivated at Cortém Vinhos organic winery are:
- Jaen, is a red grape variety cultivated in Spain and north-western Portugal. It thrives particularly well on slate soils such as those found in the Douro region. The grape is thick-skinned, purple in colour. However, the wines from this variety are bright red with a chestnut-colored shimmer. Its aromas of dark berries, mint and thyme are typical, as well as its fresh acidity and tannins.
- Touriga Nacional, is undisputedly Portugal's highest-quality red grape variety with a thick berry skin. It produces storable wines with a strong colour, beautiful tannins, wonderful aromas of currants, raspberries and spicy notes
- Touriga Franca, This red variety is very popular in the Douro wine-growing region because it gives the wines a lot of colour, a strong body, sufficient fruit (blackberries) but also floral notes (roses, cistus), as well as firm, velvety tannins that give the wines structure.
- Aragonez, is an Iberian grape variety called Tempranillo (early ripening) in Spain and also Tinta Roriz in the Portuguese wine-growing regions of Douro, Beira and Dao. Wines from the Aragonez variety are of high quality, full-bodied, robust and at the same time elegant, spicy and very fruity.
- Tinto Cão, is an autochthonous red wine variety from Portugal. The cluster is small with small, round, black-blue colored, thick-skinned, strongly fragrant berries. It sprouts late and is insensitive to botrytis infestation, flowering resistant and ripens late. Tinto Cão organic wines are dark red, full-bodied and strong in alcohol.
- Syrah, international, very noble grape variety that needs a hot, dry climate and then produces very fruity, colorful wines with a good tannin structure.
- Merlot, popular, high-quality international variety that can produce fleshy, smooth wines with cherry aromas such as in Saint Emilion, Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol if it is cultivated as a single variety and the harvest quantities are limited.< /li>
- Cabernet Sauvignon, high-quality, international red variety. Very aromatic, black currant, often cedar wood, with a high tannin content. Is an important component in almost all Bordeaux wines..
- Petit Verdot, this grape variety comes from south-west France, where it is cultivated to a limited extent in Spain, Portugal, Sicily and also overseas. also of little importance in Peru, Chile, Israel, South Africa, California, New Zealand, Argentina, where it produces very powerful red wines in a hot climate.
- Cabernet Franc, international high quality variety, around Libourne, on the Loire it is of greater importance. Wines from the Cabernet Franc grape have spicy aromas, a good structure and a high aging potential.
- Tannat, perhaps its name derives from its high tannin content. Wines from the Tannat grape are mainly matured in barriques, where they refine and reach their drinking maturity. Tannate wines are often blended with less tannic wines to improve their lifespan.
- Pinot Noir, its origin is in France, cultivated mainly in Burgundy. It is now widespread worldwide. She prefers a moderate climate, she is susceptible to fungal diseases. Its berries are roundish-oval, medium-sized, dark blue-purple with a thin skin. Under ideal conditions, it produces bright red, warm, full-bodied and elegant wines, otherwise high acidity dominates.
- Petite Syrah, popular in Mediterranean wine-growing countries. Not related to the Syrah, but also of high quality. Produces intensely fruity, spicy wines with a deep red colour, clear tannins and aromas of black pepper, black currant, plum and orange
- Carmenere, originally it was one of the grape varieties permitted in Bordeaux 6. Today it is hardly cultivated there because of its sensitive bloom (trickling), although it produces full-bodied red wines, these are Merlot wines.
- Sauvignon Blanc, is the second most important white grape variety in the world after Chardonnay. It does not tolerate winter frost and is susceptible to powdery mildew, downy mildew and does not like rain during the flowering period (danger of trickling).
It requires a mild climate, warm vineyard locations and fertile moist soils such as those found on the Loire, in Veneto or Friuli and rarely in Portugal. Since its leaf growth is very vigorous, regular leaf removal is required. Organic wines from Sauvignon Blanc are fresh, fruity, spicy and are characterized by typical aromas of black currants and green peppers.
- Viognier, is a white grape variety that has its origins in the Rhône and produces very fruity, fresh and harmonious wines there. It is also cultivated where similar climatic conditions exist, such as in Spain and Portugal. Its bouquet of peaches, apricots and blossoms is characteristic.
We will test Cortem's organic wines at longer intervals in order to be able to assess their quality, how they have changed and evolved with age. If you meet our expectations, we will offer them to you.