Quinta do Ameal
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Pedro Araujo (Portugal’s Peter Pan) is a special person. His family’s wine heritage found a new direction when his father and his grandfather (the famous Adrian Ramos Pinto) decided to sell their Port house, Ramos Pinto. It was always a dream of Pedro’s father to buy this special plot of land, the Quinta do Ameal, just north of Porto, in the Vinho Verde region. After the passing of Pedro’s father, the renaissance of this ancient property began. Until you see it for yourself, you cannot imagine the scope of detail and authenticity that has been put into recreating the past and merging it with today, in both design and spirit. Once you set foot on the property, it is clear without even the need to ask if the vineyards and the grounds are tended with an organic practice. which they are. The entire property is densely green with life. No matter where you roam, there are happy bugs circling the air that seem to be infused with Pedro’s boyish charm and lust for life. It is a place that you won’t want to leave once you are there.
Lay of the Land
Quinta do Ameal is a strikingly beautiful estate that sits in the heart of the Lima Valley in the Minho region of Portugal. This is the most northerly region that borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and is separated from Spain by the Minho River to the north. Though the region is named after the river, it is in fact the “Rio Lima” that gives the region its heart and soul. The Lima Valley begins where the river meets the sea and runs east towards a progressively more mountainous terrain. The vines benefit from cool breeze that blow in from the coast. The altitudes of the vineyards get higher and the terrain become more uneven as you travel inland, giving rise to multiple micro-climates. Because of this, the valley is often divided in two sections referred to as Lower Lima and Higher Lima. The Loureiro grape (the only grape that Quinta do Ameal uses) thrives in the granite and schist soils that cover the valley and produce wines that are fine and refreshing. The locals describe the wines as “needle point” because of the racy acidity of these local white wines.