NOT JUST A PIECE OF LAND
Climbing the Serra de Montejunto mountain range reveals a landscape that enchants the senses. A scenery made from green fields, not only of vineyards, and the blue ocean.
Quinta de Chocapalha is nestled in those undulating hills that extend down to the Tagus River. The road, which comes from Aldeia Galega da Merceana, has a unique charm, adorned with large, centenary trees.
When I arrived here I was delighted. What fascinated me was that it was a farm and not just a piece of land. It smelled of tradition, and you can tell that from the trees. Someone lived here who was also passionate about the land.
However, not everything suited the objectives that the Tavares da Silva family had in mind, which led Paulo Tavares da Silva to dedicate his efforts to study. He also wanted to hear from the older people in the villages, who knew secrets about this region’s nature. Since the beginning, the project has been based on using the best tradition has to offer and combining it with modern knowledge and technology.
Although the estate’s potential to produce great wines was recognised long ago, that objective changed over time. When the Tavares da Silva family came to Quinta de Chocapalha, the grape varieties planted were aimed to achieve production quotas and were in poor condition. Restructuring the vineyards was unavoidable to succeed in producing wines that better reflected this estate’s special terroir
WINE HAS BEEN MADE HERE SINCE THE ROMAN TIMES
The Alenquer region was inhabited very early on. Archaeological digs uncovered ceramic objects dating back to the Neolithic period.
Romanisation took place as of the 2nd Century B.C. The decadence of the Roman Empire drew the Visigoths to the region, where Suevi, Alans and Vandals also passed through. With the arrival of the Moors on the Iberian Peninsula in 711, this entire area was occupied by Muslim populations.
Here, vine growing is ancient, dating back to the times of Roman occupation. Even during the period of Muslim rule, wine was still produced in this territory. Throughout centuries, the authorities of the towns surrounding Alenquer mentioned winemaking as an important part of the local economy.
A região de Alenquer foi habitada muito cedo. Em escavações arqueológicas foram encontrados objectos de cerâmica, datados do período do Neolítico.
A romanização aconteceu a partir do século II Antes de Cristo. A decadência do Império Romano trouxe os Visigodos até à região, por onde passaram também Suevos, Alanos e Vândalos. Com a chegada dos Mouros à Península Ibérica, em 711, toda esta área foi ocupada por populações muçulmanas.
Aqui, o cultivo da vinha é antigo, remontando ao tempo da ocupação romana. Mesmo durante o período muçulmano se continuou a fazer vinho neste território. Ao longo dos séculos, os forais das vilas em redor de Alenquer o referiram como parte importante da economia local.
Evening News, SIC TV channel
Discover Quinta de Chocapalha in the report by Lúcia Gonçalves in September 2017.
For more information, please contact us.