The Algarve of Portugal with its exceptional climate not only attracts tourists seeking sunshine but is also a great terroir for growing vines.
The Algarve has a long heritage as a winemaking region and, in the ’80s, it gained the status of a demarcated region.
In the last 10 years, viticulture and wine production is renewed and several new wineries are born producing wonderful wines. The vines grow on clay, limestone, sandstone and schist soils.
Quinta do Francês is a family estate, with 9 hectares of vineyard, nestled in the hills of Silves, on the Odelouca River Valley of Algarve.
The owner is Patrick Agostini was born in France to an Italian Piedmontese family with a tradition of winemaking.
Growing up, he became a pathologist and at the age of 33, he and his Portuguese wife decided to leave France and move to Portugal. Here, in the Odelouca River Valley of Algarve, he found the right property to enable him to follow his passion for making great wines.
The hot and dry Algarvian climate, can over-stress the vines, but fanned by the cool Atlantic sea breezes coming from the South, do reduce the over-ripening process. On the other hand, the poor schist, clay soil, that limits the water intake, can create just enough stress to concentrate the grapes, thus producing the remarkable wine from this vineyard. This terroir enables them to produce wonderful wines.
The vineyard was finally ready for production in 2008.
The vineyard with 9 hectares is distributed in two different soils: the south-facing slopes and terraces with schist soils together with the water from the river nearby create an ideal terroir, giving perfect conditions for his red grapes, Trincadeira, (Tinta Amarela), Aragonês (Tinta Roriz), Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah; and the alluvium soil, very close to the Odelouca River with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc.
The winery, in a typical Algarvian style with a modern structure, was concluded in 2008, with 800 square meters and separate areas for stainless steel tanks, French oak barrels and ready-to-market bottle storage. They also have an excellent showroom for tastings, expositions and wine shopping.
In the Quinta, the grapes are always handpicked at the peak of ripeness and brought directly to the winery where they’re carefully selected and crushed. All the winemaking process from crushing the freshly picked grapes to bottling the finished wine is done on-premises. The reds spend 14 months in French oak barrels.
The owner had a dream of getting the Algarve into the world wine map. Both his brands, ‘Quinta do Francês’ and ‘Odelouca’ have been very successful, winning medals at international and national fairs.
Their tasting room and terrace feature a panoramic view over the vineyard that you can admire while tasting their beautiful wines.
Worth a visit!