Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wine of the Week - Herdade do Rocim Amphora Tinto

This week's featured wine is a truly unique and wonderful look into the history of wine making. 
2,000 years ago the Romans introduced amphora winemaking to the Alentejo region of Portugal, and Rocim has kept much of this traditional practice the same. Like the Romans, he lines the insides of the clay pots with beeswax and olive oil made onsite with cobrancosa olives. For both the tinto and branco, everything goes inside the amphora – the grapes, the skins and the stems, and nothing is added. The amphora has no lid, and instead a layer of olive oil is placed on top of the the wine as a natural protectant and to keep the wine from oxidizing. For bottling, the small tap at the bottom of the amphora is opened and the wine is naturally filtered through the skins and stems. The wine is taken to the winery and a tiny bit of sulfur is added before going straight into the bottle. Since the wine was left on the skins, the tannins naturally preserve the wine in bottle and little sulfur is needed.

The Amphora tinto is light and fresh, with notes of berries, rose petals, and an earthy, rounded finish, this is a great option for tomato-based dishes, paella, or housemade sausage. 

Located in the Lower Alentejo region in the southern half of Portugal, between Vidigueira and Cuba, lies the estate of Herdade do Rocim. Catarina Vieira has been in charge of the development of the estate and she believes that Alentejo has the unique conditions required to produce world-class wines. Joining her as General Manager of the estate is Pedro Ribiero. He contributes to the winemaking decisions, as well as running the sales and business affairs of the estate. Since purchasing the estate, Caterina and Pedro have invested greatly in the land by completely regenerating the vineyards and building a new state of the art winery. They believe that Rocim has great potential for producing high quality wines with worldwide recognition and have created a project that gives value not only to Alentejo, but to Portugal as a whole.


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