Production of grapes for sale
The Vineyard project at the estate of Torre do Frade was developed at the beginning of the Millenium, more specifically in 2000. It was when the administration decided to buy 13.8 ha of vine to be planted near the village of Santo Aleixo, in the direction of Orada/Borba.
Thus, in 2001, the first parcel of vine of the agricultural exploitation of Torre do Frade was created, with the plantation of 13.8 ha divided in the following grape varieties: 6.4 ha of Aragonez, 1.8 ha of Alicante Bouchet and 5.6 ha of Trincadeira. In 2002, 10.3 ha were planted and divided in 7.9 ha of Aragonez and 2.4 of Syrah. Currently, the total area comprises 30.72 ha of vineyard since in 2007 we also planted 7.5 ha of white grapes, 4.5 ha of Arinto and 3 ha of Viognier. In 2011, we have done the regrafting of 2.4 ha that soon became Antão Vaz, which increased the quantity of white grapes.
The goal of this investment was derived from the high cost of red grapes at that time in Alentejo and it was also due to a need of diversifying our business areas within the agricultural frame.
The grapes for sale represent 70% of the overall production, so we actually sell many more grapes than the ones we use to produce our house wine.
Own wine production
After two years as suppliers of quality grapes, the new generation of the family started dreaming about creating a house wine. Hence, in the Summer of 2003, we made a research to define the best strategy to enter the wine market. Afterwards, the research was presented to the administration board.
The administration considered the research and chose to produce a wine with all the necessary quality standards, based on the wisdom and enterprise of Eng. Paulo Laureano. Having this purpose in mind, we made use of the excellent infrastructure we had on the estate Perdigão in Monforte, that allowed us to create a great wine regardless of the investment risks because the implementation of the brand is equivalent to the success of our marketing strategy, whereas the remaining grapes are sold to independent local producers.
Thus, we set a goal for the first brand of the house; It is a wine with an individual character and a reliable quality. In order to maintain its configuration, we only produce a couple of thousands of bottles, for example 7.800 in the first harvest of 2004. The philosophy behind it was the following: – we will produce a wine of great quality but in small quantity and, if it pleases the market, we will advance and diversify; if we are unsuccessful, we shut the door and drink it because we are a big family. This was our initial attitude, so we then decided to exhibit the house mark in the bottles as we had always done to the previous products of Torre do Frade – namely cattle, cereals and cork. Finally, we decided to name the first son of our vineyard Torre do Frade Reserva 2004. See the comments on Adegga.com».
As usual in our house, quality is the premise to produce whatever we wish in its own niche market.
Therefore, with the help of Eng. Paulo Laureano, we began outlining Torre do Frade Reserva 2004 already in the vineyard, where we prepared the grapevine to produce between 4 and 4.5 tons per hectar. This assured the right concentration and structure for the grapes, allowing us to produce a nectar able to age in first-quality wood and create a suitable wine for the top of the range line. Once the wine profile and positioning were established, we began outlining our marketing strategy with special emphasis on its overall consistency: Product, Price, Distribution and Publicity.
For us, quality is not merely an adjective but it is an objective reality and our price shows the structure of costs to produce this product of added value. Furthermore, the places where we work and our work method reveal our posture for the brand of Torre do Frade Reserva.
Thus, our wines of Torre do Frade Reserva respect the maximum quality standards since they are only produced in exceptional years.
In 2007, we invested on the plantation of white grapes – 4.5 ha of Arinto and 3 ha of Viognier – and we started producing the first white wine of the house, Torre do Frade Viognier in the harvest of 2009. The first production reached 1.000 bottles but it sold out in 15 days because it soon became very successful. See the comments on Adegga.com».
As a result of the 2010 harvest, we launched a medium range wine with the production of 30.000 bottles, the brand VIRGO which stands for Virgin in Latin. It evokes purity, whiteness and something to be explored. This wine is all about that. It is an experience waiting to be defined and shared. The concept of this wine is based upon the No Brand ideology, i.e., bearing a detachable label with a blank area. So, it is up to the consumer to mark the wine as he wishes, according to his own tasting experience and allowing an interaction between the wine, the consumer and the producer which lasts beyond the tasting moment. Learn more about VIRGO here».