Wineries and Producers

Colares

The Demarcated Region of Colares, created in 1908, small in area when compared to other wine-making regions in the country, achieved relevance at the turn of 20th century due to the high percentage of ramisco vines that were cultivated and occupied a large part of the surface area.     

The Adega Regional de Colares (Colares Regional Cellar) was established in 1931, with the objective of ensuring the quality and origin of the region’s wine products.

Initially founded by 81 members, in the following years it registered a considerable increase in the number of associates and is the oldest cooperative winery in the country.   

In 1934, by decree-law n. º 24 500, of September 19th – considered by many as the true Charter  of Colares wine  – the Adega Regional de Colares was granted the exclusive  right to manufacture Colares wine, at the same time as an aging period of a minimum of two years was set so as to guarantee the quality of this wine product.    

In the following decades, the high cost of labour, the difficult planting in the sandy soil, the crisis in wine production, the increase of pine forests in detriment of vineyards and the advance of urban areas have, among others factors, contributed towards the decrease in the production of ramisco.     

Today, besides the Adega Regional de Colares, there are other wineries and individual producers of the Colares wine.

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Colares Demarcated Region

Located between Sintra mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Colares region encloses the parishes of Colares, S. João das Lampas and S. Martinho, in Sintra district.

 

Colares has been a Demarcated Region since 1908, being the westernmost demarcated 
region of continental Europe and the smallest still-wine producing region in Portugal.

Vines are grown in sandy soil similar to beach sand. Due to the closeness of the sea, the climate is very specific, with agreeable temperatures, strong sea winds, and a high percentage of air moisture. Plants must be shielded from sea winds, which is accomplished through hand-made palisades of dried canes sewn with wicker.

The resulting landscape looks extraordinary; some authors compare it to a honeycomb.

For the planting of these vineyards, in the first step all the sand must be removed, down to the clay layer, where the plant material (rods) is set For the next 3 to 4 years, the sand is gradually put back, together with manure applications, till the vineyard is settled in level ground and ready for production.

These plants are living monuments, some of them more than 100 years old Traditional, the vines have one or more arms of old wood spread on the ground The arms hold the rods, sometimes more than 10 per vine. Just before ripening, the vines are propped up away from the sand, using 50 an-long pieces of cane. At this stage, grape clusters are often covered with dried weeds from the vineyard itself, to prevent sunburns. 

Properties are generally small and bound by loose stone walls, stones being brought from vineyards planted in non-sandy soils, known locally as "hard soil”.

This is a wholly hand-made viticulture seen at its best during the ripening period, that is, between mid- August and mid-September.

 

 

 

Contacts 

Colares Demarcated Region

Tv. da Fonte D'Areia 28,

2705 SÃO JOÃO DAS LAMPAS

GPS: 38º 51’ 5,555” N, 9º 26’ 37,19” W

T: 219 291 210

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: www.arcolares.com

 

Visits

Guided tours, from Monday to Friday, between 9:30 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 17:00, subject to previous booking with the Adega Cooperativa Regional de Colares

Independent visits, using public paths, with the aid of map geo-referencing.