Quinta dos Termos | The wealth of the Portuguese region of Beira Interior with its wine varieties and traditional methods unites
The Quinta dos Termos, situated on the slopes of Serra da Estrela, hallmark for the wines of the Beira Interior region, was visited on the 27th of January by Rui Vinhas da Silva, President of COMPETE 2020, within the scope of the initiative “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”.
“Quinta dos Termos is a fine example of entrepreneurship in the wine sector. Its business model is anchored on a permanent concern with process and product innovation and the search for international markets that demand excellent quality wines. Quinta dos Termos is therefore a great example of business enterprise translated into sustainable competitive advantages under a philosophy of value aggregation that finds its materialization in novel concepts and the development of exceptional wines targeted at very demanding consumers in foreign markets. In summary there is a constant concern with the creation of great brands and a marketing orientation that underpins the whole business model which will carry the organization forward into a bright future.” (President of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva)
A brief history of Quinta dos Termos
The wine estate Quinta dos Termos is situated in the centre of Portugal, on the hillsides of the southern slope of Serra da Estrela (the highest mountain of Continental Portugal – 2.000 metres), therefore protected from the cold north winds and bathed with sunshine from its southern exposure, allowing it to attain in the summer temperatures that are at times above 50º, which results in a superior maturation level, resulting in wines that are complex, aromatic and of good consistency.
This region, namely Beira Interior, produces wines since ancestral times, having been mentioned several times in Portuguese history and protagonist in legends because of its good wines.
In 1945 Alexandre Carvalho acquired the fourth glebe of a building corresponding to land in a place called Termos or Vilela, which was subsequently named Quinta dos Termos. An area composed of land used for the cultivation of rye and vines with farm houses, situated in Carvalhal Formoso, near Belmonte, in a rough zone of poor granite soils, a beautiful landscape, exposed southwards, with exceptional conditions for the cultivation of vines.
There is a legend that comes from ancestral times, which tells the story of a lovely Moorish girl that, on the morning of St. John, appeared to the shepherds of the estate with a cup of wine in her hand, inviting them to drink leaving them amazed at what they witnessed and drank.
Aware that this was land made for the successful cultivation of wine vines, Alexandre Carvalho decided, in the mid-fifties, to restructure three of the existing six hectares of wine vine, maintaining the other three hectares with the old vines.
All the produce was vinified and sold in the taverns of the region.
The estate was leased out, at the beginning of the eighties, resulting in practically all the vines being destroyed.
In 1993, with the end of the leasing, the estate returns to the family, in the person of João Carvalho, son of Alexandre Carvalho, who decides to embody a project of modern viticulture.
Thus, João Carvalho, combining his life as a textile entrepreneur and professor of the Department of Textile Science and Technology of the University of Beira Interior, decides to set to work on the estate, beginning with the restructuring of the wine vines. He acquires new vine plots, islands isolated in the interior of the estate and new plantation permits, possessing today about 42 hectares in full production and 12 hectares beginning production.
Quinta dos Termos now owns about 180 hectares and has at its disposal an area of wine vine production of 54 hectares of select wine grape varieties, such as reds Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro Preto, Tinta Roriz, Tricadeira Preta, Jaen, Rufete, Marufo, Baga, Sangiovese, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Tinto Cão, Vinhão and the whites Fonte Cal and Rieseling.
“COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”
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.”