Adega Mayor: a Cellar that designs the landscape and the destiny of a vineyard in the heart of the Alentejo
“Adega Mayor is a consummate example of entrepreneurial spirit translated into the production of high quality wines. An emphasis on brand creation and the nurturing of brands that have progressively acquired notoriety has been expressed in prestigious distinctions and prizes obtained in world renowned international wine events.” That was how the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva, characterized this Wine Cellar after a visit of a week to various companies spread over the whole country.
Rui Vinhas da Silva, emphasized that the “Adega Mayor has combined wine and tourism in a blend that synergizes both sectors, bringing to the forefront key notions of integrated consumption experiences and product complementarity. High quality and the identification of differentiating factors in adapting to market requirements are key competitive features at Adega Mayor.”
Brief History of Adega Mayor
The Adega Mayor, inaugurated 2007, marks the launch in the winemaking sector of the Nabeiro-Delta Cafés Group. A unique structure in the Portuguese landscape, designed by the arquitect Álvaro Siza Vieira, it pays homage to the arquitecture of wine and life.
According to Rui Nabeiro, “this creation is a bold concept which is different to the conventional.” He adds that “here we have a building which will elevate the heritage of the Alentejo”.
The current vineyard of the Adega Mayor is situated in Campo Maior, Alto Alentejo and forms part of an estate with a total of 350 hectares, with vines planted in the Argamassas and Godinha estates.
Harvesting is done by hand, which allows for a better selection of grapes and a greater care with the raw-material. The proximity to the São Mamede mountain, the granitic soils and temperate climate contribute to the unique character of the wines that come from the Adega Mayor. Wines with their own personality, fresh, balanced and elegant, are the result of a manual and dedicated harvesting process.
The Adega uses modern technology for the elaboration of its wines, applying the most advanced techniques of oenology, always with the objective of obtaining high quality wines.
The Portuguese wine varieties are the most used. With respect to the red wines, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira and Castelão are used and for the whites, Antão Vaz, Arinto and Verdelho. Other varieties were selected to complete the personality of the Adega Mayor wines such as Syrah, Alicante Bouchet and Petit Verdot, chosen for their excellent adaptation to the region.
The Adega Mayor also exports its wines, following in the footsteps of their coffee (leading product of the group). At present the wine is already sold in various European countries, such as Germany, England, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain and also in Angola and the USA.
With this strategy they hope to continue a sustainable business “that adds value to the region, at a social and cultural level”, according to Rita Nabeiro, administrator of Adega Mayor.
Over the past few years, the Adega Mayor has increased and specialized its team of collaborators, employing 45 people, thus contributing to the national economy in two strategic Portuguese sectors, wine and tourism.
The wines form the Adega Mayor have obtained, both at the national and international level, unanimous praise on the part of the critics, such as the Wine Enthusiast, the Portuguese Wine Magazine, Alentejo’s Oenophile Guild, and have been attributed 100 awards so far.
The Adega Mayor recently received awards in a competition in Portugal: the Portuguese Wine Competition 2015 and in two prestigious international competitions: the Wine Master Challenge 2015 and the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), held in London.
The “Caiado Tinto 2013”, the “Monte Mayor Reserva Tinto 2012” and the “Reserva do Comendador Branco 2013”, were awarded the Silver Medal in the Wine Master Challenge 2015 and the “Monte Mayor Reserva Tinto 2012” was awarded the Bronze Medal in the IWSC. The “Reserva do Comendador Branco 2013” was also awarded the Silver Medal at the Portuguese Wine Competition 2015, which shows the unique quality of the Adega Mayor wines.
These honors are part of an extensive list of national and international awards that further reinforce the choice in the excellence on the part of the brand, and the constant insistence in producing high quality wines.
The “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value” initiative
This visit was part of the initiative “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”, dedicated to the wine industry.
During the course of a week, this initiative included the visit to 16 companies of the wine sector, seeking to cover the whole territory of continental Portugal. The diversity of the sector and its regional representation allowed for a selection of company trajectories that we intend to get to know and analyze.
According to the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva, the purpose of these visits to the wine sector was to “bring this Programme closer to the companies, with the awareness that the economic instruments at their service should contribute to position the Portuguese economy within the philosophy of the creation and addition of value to innovative products and services, based on an absolute awareness of the competitive nature of sophisticated international markets, seeking to reflect its heterogeneity and specificities.”