Andre Gomes Pereira
Owner & winemaker: Andre Gomes Pereira
Vineyards: 35ha (25ha estate-owned in Ourem, plus 10ha rented in Pinhel)
Vineyard management: Certified organic in Ourem since 1997, and in Pinhel since 2008
Soils: Limestone and clay in Ourem; sandy loam with schist and granite in Pinhel
Grapes grown: Fernão Pires, Arinto, Rabo de Ovelha, Olho de Lebre, Alvarinho, Siria, Baga, Trincadeira, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Castelão, Alicante Bouchet, Moreto
Annual production: 34,000 bottles for the Cluricaun line
- Cluricaun is the line of low intervention wines from Quinta do Montalto. It’s named for a fairy linked to wine cellars and wine consumption.
- “We’re organic not by fashion but because we believe that’s the only sustainable way to live and produce food, thus passing the fertile land to the next generation.” – the Gomes Pereira family
Quinta do Montalto is a historic family-run farm based in Ourem, outside of Lisbon, comprising vineyards as well as olive trees, orchards, and forest. Winemaking history in this region dates back 800 years, and the Quinta do Montalto itself was founded in 1880. Andre Gomes Pereira, the current winemaker, is the fifth generation to run the estate. He knew he wanted to make wine since he was a little boy, and he took over the vineyards and cellar in 2002.
The majority of the vineyards are found around the winery building in Ourem, planted in small plots on limestone soil. Another 10ha are rented in Pinhel, further north and inland. The focus is on the numerous local grape varieties native to the region. Farming at the estate is certified organic since 1997–they were one of the first producers in Portugal to gain certification. The main challenges are fungal disease and more recently, more frequent and severe heatwaves.
All of the Cluricaun wines are made in a low intervention style, with spontaneous fermentation, low doses of sulfur, and minimal filtration. They use a variety of vessels, including stainless steel tanks for the white and pet nat, open wooden vats called “dornas” for the reds, and amphoras coated with natural pine tree resin for the skin contact white. The amphoras they use are made by local artisans who previously only made amphoras for gardens–with Andre’s encouragement, they began crafting vessels for wine, and now they have a number of winery clients. That’s just one example of the way the Gomes Pereira family is invested in the revival of their local community–another is Andre’s Uncondemned project, focusing on reclaiming abandoned centenarian vineyards.