With over 400 years of history, the prestigious Cartuxa winery is located in the Évora sub-region of the Alentejo, right in the heart of Portugal.
In a nutshell: Cartuxa is one of the oldest wineries in Portugal and is steeped in history. Vineyards have been on the same Quinta de Valbom site in Évora since 1517 when the Jesuits established the second oldest university in Portugal. In the adjoining site, the Carthusians built the famous Cartuxa Monastery between 1587 and 1598. With the Jesuits expelled from Portugal in 1759, and the Carthusians in 1834, both the vineyards and the monastery were acquired by the Portuguese government. It was in 1871 that both were rescued from ruin by the Eugénio de Almeida family, who were very prominent within Portuguese society, both in Évora and Lisbon. Over the years, the family invested and expanded the vineyard holdings and today Cartuxa works across 1050 hectares across four estates (650 ha of which they own and 400 ha long-term rental).
In 1963, Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida created the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, a charitable foundation responsible for developing many important social and cultural organisations across the region including Évora University, hospitals, social housing and numerous welfare institutions. Although Vasco Maria passed away in 1975 the foundation continues its work today, more than 50 years after its foundation
The wines of Cartuxa are produced within the Alentejo sub-region of Évora and have long been legendary within Portugal. Indeed, Pêra-Manca has a long pedigree that is intertwined with Portuguese history. Not only were the wines from the “Pêra-Manca region” first mentioned in a letter from Évora Town Council to King João II in 1488 but the wines were also aboard Pedro Álvares Cabral’s ship when he discovered Brazil in 1500. The Pêra-Manca brand was first patented in the 1870s and the wines gathered international recognition when the reds won gold medals in Bordeaux soon after. Following many political changes in Portugal, the arrival of phylloxera and the death of the vineyard owner in 1920, the Pêra-Manca wines were not made again until 1990 when Cartuxa revived the Pêra-Manca label for its flagship wines. Today the wines celebrate native grape varieties and now have cult status within Portugal and around the world.
Olive oil is also a major part of the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, which now farms an area of some 400 ha. The most widely grown olive varieties are Galega, Cobrançosa, Cordovil and Picual, producing fine quality extra virgin olive oils.
The Terroir: The Évora sub-region is known for its hot dry conditions and a varied mix of non-calcareous Mediterranean soils. The wines are typically robust and multi-layered, complex and rewarding, with good acidic balance.
The Cartuxa ‘personality’: Excellence, quality and individuality are the key drivers for Cartuxa, who are producing exciting wines from one of the most dynamic wine regions in Portugal