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Serra Oca

The Vivas family


Owners & winemakers: The Vivas family (Joana, Francisco, José, Madalena, and Mafalda)
Vineyards: 20ha of vineyards, plus 40ha of apple and pear orchards
Vineyard management: Certified organic with biodynamic practices
Soils: Limestone from the Upper Jurassic period with a loamy-clay structure, some areas of sandy-clay
Grapes grown: Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Syrah, Fernão Pires, Arinto, Moscatel Graúdo
Annual production: 30,000 bottles

Quick facts:

  • The Quinta do Olival da Murta is a traditional family farm, encompassing vineyards and orchards, dating back four generations.
  • The label design represents local legends about bottomless lakes and enchanted caves in the nearby Serra de Montejunto.

Serra Oca is the low intervention project from Quinta do Olival da Murta, a fourth-generation family winery located about 80km north of Lisbon. The project is named after the Serra de Montejunto, which is also called “Serra Oca” or “Hollow Mountain” because of the extensive network of caves found beneath it.

The family tends vineyards, along with a variety of other agricultural activities, and began making their own wines in 2013. Today, the vineyards are certified organic and incorporate some biodynamic practices as well. The climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby Serra de Montejunto, which blocks the prevailing winds and causes morning fog which cools the area. Humidity can be a challenge, as well as the effects of climate change. Low fertility soils lead to naturally low yields in the vineyards. All grapes are hand harvested.

In the cellar, the goal is to focus on the quality of the grapes through simple, hands-off vinification. Fermentation takes place spontaneously with native yeast, no synthetic chemicals are added, wines spend time only in used barrels, and only low doses of sulfur are added.