Quinta do Pinto is a woman-owned and operated winery that is driven by the seemingly unstoppable force of the sisters Rita Cardoso Pinto and Ana Cardoso Pinto. Initially established by their father and enjoying the support of additional oenologists and winemaking staff, Quinta do Pinto is an estate that illustrates the proud tradition of the Alenquer region of Lisbon in producing wines that are internationally recognized for their exceptional quality. The estate itself is made up of 63 hectares (156 acres) of vineyards that sit on mostly south-facing slopes of hills in the area between the Montejunto mountain range and the Tejo river. This particular region of the Lisbon Wine Region is protected by natural barriers against the cold and damp wind coming from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, which allows for the cultivation of vineyards without the use of chemical interventions to maintain the health of the vines against potential mold or pests. In fact, the winery has been certified by the Portuguese government for Produção Integrada, a standard of sustainable agricultural practices and management which is defined by the European Union as “a farming system where high quality organic food, feed, fibre and renewable energy are produced by using resources such as soil, water, air and nature as well as regulating factors to farm sustainably and with as few polluting inputs as possible.” This minimum intervention approach to viticulture is based on the professed philosophy of Quinta do Pinto that “wine is made in the vineyard” and permeates not only the way that they choose to act as stewards to their vineyards, but also in the fact that they are constantly making efforts as a winery to further commit to sustainable agricultural, winemaking, and sales practices.
The estate is marked by an extensive diversity of both microclimates and terroirs, and also a diversity of grape varieties which illustrates the extent to which the Cardoso family and their team are acutely aware of the differing strength and potentials that each plot of their estate has to offer. With over 27 grape varieties planted in the vineyards, representing a mixture of indigenous Portuguese varieties and international varieties, the winery builds upon this foundation to create blends that are expressive of the region’s unique terroir. One of the stated goals of the winery is also to raise global awareness and familiarity of indigenous Portuguese grape varieties, through judicious blending with more globally-recognized international varieties in order to create wines that are exceptionally balanced and complex that showcase the vast potential of Portuguese grapes and wines as a whole.
Quinta do Pinto is a winery that is built upon the proud heritage and traditions of their region and is on a mission to spread awareness and appreciation of Portuguese wines both locally and across the globe. It is also a winery that is built upon far-sighted vision, both in terms of the cultivation of indigenous and international grapes for the sake of creating internationally visible blends that showcase the versatility of less-known Portuguese grapes, but also in terms of their commitment to sustainability and commitment to practices that will allow their region to produce exceptional wines far into the future.