Quinta da Fonte Souto

Quinta da Fonte Souto

The Symington’s family’s first property outside the Douro region. Quinta da Fonte Souto is in the Portalegre subregion of the Alto Alentejo in southern Portugal. Close to the São Mamede range (1,025 metres), the property benefits from the area’s altitude with its cooler microclimate in sharp contrast to the Alentejo region’s typically hot and dry conditions. Yields are low due to the schist and granite soils, which are less fertile than those found in the flat and rolling terrain which characterizes the majority of the Alentejo. There are 207 hectares on the property, of which 43 are planted with vines. The principal grape varieties are Aragonês, Alfrocheiro, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The property has a substantial chestnut grove, from which its name is derived — ‘souto’ refers to a wooded area planted with chestnut trees.

Alto Alentejo
Portugal

In Portuguese ‘Fonte’ means source of water or fountain, and ‘Souto’ is a chestnut grove.

The combination of the two words in the estate’s name symbolises the abundance of water from the estate’s natural springs and its beautiful chestnut groves.

Quinta da Fonte Souto is a new wine project from the Symington family in the exciting Portalegre sub-region of the Alto Alentejo in southern Portugal.

This is a long-term project with the objective of putting the unique terroir of this sub-region on the map, for wine lovers in Portugal and elsewhere around the world

Viticulture

Quinta da Fonte Souto is in the Portalegre subregion of the Alto Alentejo in southern Portugal. Close to the São Mamede range (1,025 metres), the property benefits from the area’s altitude with its cooler microclimate in sharp contrast to the Alentejo region’s typically hot and dry conditions. Yields are low due to the schist and granite soils, which are less fertile than those found in the flat and rolling terrain which characterizes the majority of the Alentejo. There are 207 hectares on the property, of which 43 are planted with vines. The principal grape varieties are Aragonês, Alfrocheiro, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The property has a substantial chestnut grove, from which its name is derived — ‘souto’ refers to a wooded area planted with chestnut trees. Furthermore, the property has a large forested area amounting to 100 hectares, a third of which is covered with cork oaks, very much a feature of the Alentejo landscape.

Winemaking

The hand-picked grapes are placed in small, shallow boxes and taken to the on-site winery. Manual sorting is followed by destemming and gentle crushing after which grapes are transferred to the fermentation vats. Fermentations are individually monitored, and the temperature and macerations are adjusted to maximise the potential of each fermenting batch. The grapes sourced from the property’s finest vineyard parcels are vinified in smaller capacity fermentation vats, worked manually with cap submersion and post fermentation maceration to encourage the extraction of some tannin from the pips to complement those extracted from the grape skins. This adds structure and longevity to the wines.

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