About Quinta das Arcas
Quinta das Arcas is a family-owned and run company, which was founded in 1985 by António Esteves Monteiro. It is based just fifteen miles north-east of Porto; whilst is specialises in producing wines from the Minho region of northern Portugal, it also produces artisanal hand-made cheese, using milk produced by their own cows, and some olive oil. This diversity reflects the region’s climate, the annual rainfall can vary from around 100cm to just under 300cm in the space of just a few miles; it’s a great place to grow green grass and make ‘green’ wine.
The grapes for their Vinho Verde wines come from three estates located in the Valongo and Penafiel area; here they have about 120 hectares planted with the white varieties Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, and Alvarinho (Albariño) and the red varieties Espadeiro and Touriga Nacional. The winemaking team lead by Fernando Machado, monitors these vineyards right through the growing season.
The Vinho Verde grapes are mainly harvested manually, before being transported in small stainless-steel containers to the winery as quickly as possible in order to preserve the primary aromas. Here, they are quickly destemmed and pressed, before being fermented at low temperatures again to preserve the delicate varietal aromas that characterise the wines from this region.
A sustainable approach, has always been a key factor when producing grapes for their wines. Vineyard pests are managed by IPM (Integrated Pest Management) methods. This approach encourages the growth of a healthy crop, with the least possible disruption to the agro-ecosystems, encouraging natural pest control mechanisms to be sustained. In 2012 the vineyards they own, that are used to produce their Vinho Verde wines, were IPM certified.