2019 Fitapreta "Os Paulistas", Alentejo, Portugal
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ABOUT THIS WINE
This wine is a tribute to the “Paulistas,” the hermit monks of the order of São Paulo who first made wine in this vineyard. There is evidence of uninterrupted wine production here since the 14th century; this vineyard was so important that the Pope issued a decree in 1397 exempting the monks from paying taxes.
Alentejo is a large region in southeastern central Portugal, the breadbasket of the country. The climate is Atlantic-Mediterranean, with significant temperature differences between day and night, and the most hours of sunshine (3,000 per year) in the country, with little rainfall during the growing season. This temperature range produces fruit with a natural combination of ripeness and freshness. The soil at Chão dos Eremitas is mainly granite with sand. The grapes are harvested by hand and selected on a sorting table. 30% are left whole bunch and 70% are destemmed. After pressing, the juice is racked by gravity to stainless steel vats. The wine ferments spontaneously and macerates for 25-40 days on the skins, followed by 18 months of aging in French oak barrels.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Fitapreta is António Maçanita’s estate near the ancient Roman city of Évora, located in the rolling hills of Alentejo. Since its inception in 2004, Fitapreta has pushed the boundaries of what fine winemaking can be in this region, and over the last two decades, the estate has become a benchmark for the New Portugal, earning António international accolades like Winemaker of the Year, Most Unique Winemaker, and Winemaker of the Generation.
Maçanita only works with indigenous varieties and showcases his estate’s terroir through exacting work: farming organically without irrigation, harvesting by hand at night, deliberate bunch sorting in the winery, and native yeast fermentation. Through this approach, he can craft wines that represent sunny Alentejo, but which have a balance and freshness unmatched by others in the region.
Maçanita finds equilibrium between tradition and modernity, and his constant exploration of vineyards has enabled him to show off a truly deep understanding of Alentejano terroir, present and past. Whether on his original estate vineyard or in his Chão dos Eremitas site, his wines contain a through-line of elegance and purity. The range of wine styles available from Fitapreta matches Antonio’s intellect, curiosity, playfulness, and rigorous attention to detail. Fitapreta has something for everyone!
Chão dos Eremitas was acquired by Antonio in 2018. “Chão” refers to flat lands, and “Eremitas” refers to the hermit monks of the order of São Paulo that lived in the area. Two underground streams bring rainwater from the mountains, keeping the ground cool even in summer. This is the home of a Phoenician wine amphora dating back to the 8th century BC, linking this area to 3,000 years of wine production.