sábado, 18 de agosto de 2012

Adega Cooperativa de Borba (D.O. Alentejo)


- History: On the 24th April the Board of the Agriculture Guild of Borba invited a group of wine makers to gather around and discuss the possibility of creating Adega de Borba. On the 30th April 1955 the first Board of the Adega de Borba Cooperative came into force.

Founded in 1955, Adega de Borba was the first of a series of wineries settled in the Alentejo region, promoted and helped by the “Junta Nacional do Vinho”, a public organisation that controlled and supervised the wine production in Portugal at a time when wine production didn’t carry much weight in the economy of the region. In fact if it weren’t for this promotion carried out by a state organisation which allowed the creation of a commercial and productive organisation for the Alentejo wines, the vine culture would have disappeared from this region, as all the incentives at that time were allocated to the production of cereals. The Alentejo as Portugal’s “barn” was an idea that was already implemented in people’s minds back then.

After 3 decades of resistance, in which only the great value of the grape varieties and the exquisite natural conditions allowed to sustain the production of wines in the Alentejo, it was the 80′s, the time when the potential of the region was evaluated and confirmed by the consumer. The region benefited from the fact that wine production was associated to large wine cellars. This idea triggered the growth of technological development in the area, far greater than in any other region in the country. Technology allowed the wine makers to start producing high-quality bottled wines at a time when the consumer became even more demanding and started to appreciate the quality rather than the quantity. Truth be told the creation of the Alentejo demarcated region and the construction of technical structures which released the use of new technologies available to the wine grower were essential in the whole process.

The euphoria that the Alentejo wines have been going through in these past few years is the outcome of a long and hardworking process both in the vineyard, with the selection of the best grape varieties and soils, and in the winery, with the improvement of the techniques and the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment. All this was at some extent ignored, at a time when the heartbeat of the region was not the production of wine.

Nowadays the Adega de Borba brings together 300 associates whose vineyards cover a total area of 2,000 hectares, 70% of which is cultivated with red grape varieties and 30% with white ones.

Constantly striving for the for reinforcement of the quality of their products the Adega de Borba Coop is currently developing an ambitious project to bring the winegrower closer to the winery so to bring out the passion of making great wines in him. After the selection and keeping of the best grape varieties and the acquisition of modern equipment, Adega de Borba believes that the commitment of the winegrower with the wine production is the only ingredient necessary to improve his products even further and achieve the full potential that the region has to produce outstanding wines.

- Facilities: Adega de Borba has been growing and modernising itself throughout the past five decades, occupying 2 distinct areas: the original one with about 12,000 m2, and the most recent one with 140,000 m2. The new winery is located in the most recently-built facilities.

In 2011 an investment of 12 million Euros was made in order to build a new vinification centre for red wines, to store the bulk wine and to store and expedite the end product. This investment followed the prior one in 2004 which went up to 8 million Euros.

The vinification capacity therefore rose to 1,200 ton of grape/day, a total fermentation capacity of 6,000 ton. In terms of bulk wine storage, the Adega’s capacity is currently 350,000 hl. With a brand new warehouse for the end product and for expedition, the storage capacity goes up to 7,000 pallets.

- Vinification: The vinification centre has state-of-the-art technology, both in terms of management software and equipments. The centre has vats which hold different fermentation technologies: vertical, with or without mechanical pressing, horizontal rotation, ganimede, wine presses, etc. There’s also the possibility to perform other processes such as delastage, bleaching, and macro oxygenation.

Some of the processes include:
- The vinification process which begins with the reception and unloading of the grapes in the grain tank;
- In the pressing machines area the white grape is pressed before decantation and fermentation, or in the end of the fermentation in case of the red grapes;
- Unloading of the vinification vats for the reds where the tear wine is separated and the solid masses are lately pressed;
- Fermentation and maceration wine presses for the reds where a pressing robot comprises the masses with the liquids to grant a better extraction of the tannins and colouring from the grapes;
- Batônnage sur lies process performed mainly for the whites with the Reserva designation. The lies are strongly comprised with the liquid so as to give the wine greater complexity and richness in flavour.

- Filtration vault: This is the area where some processes are conducted, especially harvesting, filtration and stabilisation of the wines before they’re bottled using the cooling system if necessary.

- Ageing cellar: This is a very special place where they put the wines during their ageing process. They’re used for quality wines which are ageing either in the barrels or already in the bottle, a privileged place with excavation in the marble rocks which are so traditional in the region of Borba. The resting of the wines reinforce the refinement of the future Premium wines with the designations of either Reserva or Garrafeira, as well as the wines bottled under the brand names “Adega de Borba”, “Montes Claros”, “Adega de Borba Reserva – The Cork Label” and “Senses” before being launched in the market.

- Bottling lines:
Adega de Borba currently has 3 bottling lines and a Bag-in-Box line installed in a clean and safe environment with room temperature, automated systems and large areas which allow us to respond well to the market’s demands in terms of quality and product diversity.

- Laboratory: The different laboratories handle the control and monitorisation of the HACCP (Análise de Riscos e Pontos Críticos de Controlo, Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan defined for the production process of the Adega de Borba; a multi-parameter analysis of the grapes and wines throughout their evolution (control of the physical and chemical parameters of the wine in a short period of time); the quality-control of the packaging materials.

- Sensory Analysis Tasting:
Apart from the frequent and continuous physical and chemical analysis of all the wines, both the ones in preparation and the ones which have already been bottled, the tastings continue to be performed and represent a very important step in the whole winemaking process. The oenologists are responsible for these tastings, thus defining the styles of each wine developed according to Adega de Borba’s well-recognised style.

- The Wine Shop: In order to make its wines even more popular, the Adega the Borba has set up a remarkable shop with a vast portfolio of wines, some of them already out of stock due to regular commercial activities. On the other hand this vast and seductive space also allows one to gain access to local tourist information, as well as to visit the premises and taste wines.

- From the Vine to the Bottle: Adega de Borba has the physical capacity to relate the characteristics of the grapes it receives in the premises to each subcompartment of the vine that originates them, i.e., it can relate the quality of the grapes with the productive system which originates them. Combining this historical knowledge with the technical evaluation performed annually by Adega de Borba’s technicians allows them to perform an efficient management of the harvest allowing them to define the oenological destiny of the grapes even before they’re spooned.

At the moment each of the Adega de Borba’s partners explores an average of 7.42 ha of vineyard; 25% of the associates hold 75% of the production land which makes the communication flow easier, as it must coexist between oenology and viticulture.

The differentiated payment of the grapes depending on the various qualitative parameters is another key factor which stimulates the excellence in production, as each of the wine growers (who reflect the interest in the market) guarantee the splendor associated with the wines of this region.

The relation between the characteristics of the grapes in each subcompartment of the vine allows the Adega de Borba:
. To reduce inefficiencies that may be identified;
. To help manage the harvest;
. To associate the production system with the quality of the grapes grown;
. To stimulate the continuous improvement by comparing the most advantageous results.

- Traceability: As one of its main objectives for 2002 Adega de Borba has decided to implement a quality control project from the growing of the vine to the bottle, thus guaranteeing the traceability of the products throughout the production process. In order to accomplish this, the Adega has invested:
. In IT hardware tools (thus connecting all the main spots in the winery and guaranteeing delivery of the information in real time in all the main spots) and software systems integrated amongst themselves (geographical information system – SIG, management of the winery – Vinigest, and commercial management – Primavera);
. In state-of-the-art equipment to perform the analysis of the grapes and the wines;
. In the implementation of the analysis of the grapes throughout the maturation process ‘till the harvest, aiming to perform a careful analysis and to evaluate the quality of the grapes, and to promote the separation of the raw materials, thus guaranteeing a greater control of the winemaking process s and increasing the quality of the end products;
. In the implementation of the quality control for the “dry” materials (analysis of the corks, bottles, capsules, labels, quality of the bottling process) in order to satisfy the expectations of our clients and guarantee the quality and security of all our products.


The Alentejo region is located in the south of Portugal. Literally the word Alentejo means “Além-Tejo” (Beyond Tagus). In fact the Alentejo is located south of this river and is the biggest province of Portugal, occupying 1/3 of the national territory. It borders the river Tagus on the north side, the Atlantic Ocean on the west side, the Spanish border on the east side, and the “Algarve” region on the south side. The province is subdivided into four regions: Alto Alentejo (Upper Alentejo), Alentejo Central (Central Alentejo), Baixo Alentejo (Lower Alentejo) and Alentejo Litoral (Coastal Alentejo). The region is composed by 46 municipalities spread over the districts of Portalegre, Évora, Beja and part of Setúbal.

The Alentejo is a vast area, mainly rural, with a low demographic density. It offers an exceptional environmental quality and a well-preserved landscape: vast plains covered with large olive groves and vineyards, oak groves and groves of holm-oaks, natural parks, hunting areas and lakes.

The Alentejo is the main agricultural region of Portugal, representing almost half of the agricultural land use in the country:

. The main crops produced in large volumes are cereals, olives and grapes (vineyards), apart from some important niches such as the one for horticultural products.
. The olive oil sector plays an important role in the region as it accounts for 30% of the national production.
. Regarding silviculture oak groves and groves of holms-oaks are the trees which stand out the most. They represent around 70% of the total national production, symbolising 40% of the total amount exported worldwide.
. The Alentejo has the necessary conditions to produce authentic quality wines. Concerning the national market for bottled wines with DOC or Regional designations, the Alentejo currently holds a 42% market share.
. The breeding of cattle also plays an extremely important role – bovines, pigs, goats and ovines alone represent around 50% of the total national breeding of cattle.


Borba is located in the centre of a particularly picturesque region with an abundance of water. The municipality covers an area of 142.88 km2 distributed over four communities, with a population of about 8500 inhabitants.

The municipality of Borba is located in the heart of the Alentejo at an altitude of about 416 meters in the depth of a circular valley (thus benefiting from a specific microclimate) and in the middle of the calcareous massif that characterises the northern Alentejo, better known as the region of marble.

Concerning its geographical location in the context of an urban network the city of Borba is located in an equidistant place between two major cities of the region, Évora and Badajoz (around 50 km to each city).

- Grapes: Adega de Borba’s vine area has  2,200 ha from which 70% of the grapes are red and 30% white. In the past few years new high-quality grapes have been planted namely Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Caiada / Arinto, Antão Vaz and Roupeiro.

- Geographic Information System (GIS): At Adega de Borba the production of each grower is assessed through an ongoing monitoring system at each vineyard. Because we believe that great wine begins in the vineyard, the use of technology in the vineyards has had an increasingly important role.
 The use of a Geographic Information System since 2002 has allowed their technicians and associates to learn about each parcel through having access to a range of information, such as: soil type; the spacing of vines (distance from foot to foot and line by line); the year of planting; rootstocks; grape varietals; root conditions; type of irrigation; fertilisation, and so on. All these data give us intel on each parcel, which is available together with an analysis to control the maturation providing us with a database that allows the winemaker to plan the best possible results for each harvest.


Adega de Borba White:
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: A.O.C. Alentejo Wine
- Wine: White
- Grape varieties: Roupeiro, Antão Vaz and Arinto
- Soil: Chalky clay and schist
- Vinification: For this wine, the grape harvest occurred between the end of August and the beginning of September and preferably in the early morning to avoid any risk of oxidation because of the very high temperatures during the summer.
In the Adega, after immediate crushing and stemming, the free-run must (must before pressing) clarified for 18 to 24 hours. Then, the alcoholic fermentation occurred at a controlled temperature of 18ºC for 14 days. After a period of stabilization in stainless vats during the autumn and winter, the wine was filtered and then bottled from the end of winter.
- Tasting Notes: Bright, green-tinged, an intense aroma of tropical and citrus fruit. Smooth, fresh taste with a predominance of lime and persistent finish of citrus fruit.

Galitos Red:
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: Regional Alentejo Wine
- Wine: Red
- Grape varieties: Aragonez, Castelão, Trincadeira
- Soil: Chalky clay and schist
- Vinification: For this wine, the grapes harvest began at the beginning of September till the end of the month in the huge and hot plains of Alentejo. At their arrival into the winery, the grapes were immediately crushed to keep all the original characteristics of the fruit. Then the alcoholic fermentation occurred in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 25ºC. At the same time, during the first 7 days, the must had a skins contact to extract colour, aromas and flavours. Then, the malolactic fermentation was strictly controlled to guaranty the smoothness of the wine. After stabilization, the wine was filtered and bottled from the next spring.
- Tasting Notes: Ruby-coloured, with a young and red fruits aroma typical of the Castelão grapes. Fruity flavour with nice notes of strawberry, typical of the Aragonez variety, a fine and well-balanced freshness offered by Trincadeira.

Adega de Borba Premium
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: A.O.C. Alentejo Wine
- Wine: Red
- Grape varieties: Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet
- Soil: Schist
- Vinification: This wine comes from grapes selected from old-growth vines from around the Borba wine region. After months of careful monitoring the grapes during the progress of ripening in the vineyards, they are stripped and crushing upon arrival at the winery. Then comes the process of alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats with mechanized pressing, leading to maceration for 10 days under a controlled temperature of 22 to 25° Celsius (72 to 77° Fahrenheit). The malolactic fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged for 12 months in new French oak and American chestnut barrels. Lastly, the wine is bottled and stored in our cellar for 6 months.
- Tasting Notes: Garnet color with great depth. Aroma is of a good intensity revealing ripe red fruits, jam and ripe peppers. Soft taste, with elegant fruit flavors and highlights of black fruit, coffee and chocolate. It has a fine structure and a persistent finish.

Rótulo de Cortiça
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: D.O.C. Alentejo
- Wine: Red
- Grape varieties: Aragonez, Trincadeira, Castelão and Alicante Bouschet
- Soil: Chalky clay and schist
- Vinification: From the best estates of the Adega de Borba wine growers come grapes that are only harvested in years when the quality of the grapes reach extraordinary levels of excellence for the region, and the Adega de Borba. Control is significant, with the pre-selection of vineyards, strict control of yield-per-acre, and monitoring of the maturation of each variety and plot. The independent growers are guaranteed a fair valuation in return for the exceptional quality of their grapes. In the winery, the grapes are processed in small quantities followed by their partial de-stemming and gentle crushing. Next, begins the fermentation process with extended maceration for some 10 to 15 days, in order to extract all the subtleties and aromatic flavors of the grape. To complete the extraction, a process of post-fermentation maceration follows for 21 days. Malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats. For an added complexity of flavors, the wine is aged for 1 year in 3 to 4 year old barrels made of French oak and exotic wood. Lastly, the wine spends 6 months in the bottle in our cellar.
- Tasting Notes: Ruby color with red hues. Aroma is fine and elegant, suggesting black fruit, jam and white chocolate. Smooth flavor with a slight astringency; balanced, wild fruits structured but with soft tannins, elegance and a lasting finish.

Montes Claros Colheita Red
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: A.O.C. Alentejo Wine
- Wine: Red
- Grape varieties: Aragonez, Syrah, Touriga Nacional
- Soil: Chalky clay and schist
- Vinification: This wine was made of previously selected grapes from our best vineyards to have a rigorous control of their maturation during several months, to select finally the best ones in their best maturation point. At their arrival at the “Adega”, the grapes were immediately crushed. Then, during the first 6 to 10 days of the alcoholic fermentation, this must was left in prolonged contact with the skins. The fermentation process occurred under a controlled temperature of 25º to 28ºC. The wine matured for 12 months in stainless steel vats, and then more 3 months in wooden casks to gain more structure and complexity before bottling.
- Tasting Notes: Deep garnet coloured. Rich and intense aroma of red fruit and spices. Round and smooth taste with a long finish.

Montes Claros Reserva Red
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: A.O.C. Alentejo Wine
- Wine: Red
- Grape varieties: Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
- Soil: Chalky clay and schist
- Vinification: To compose this special wine Reserva, which is one of the oldest trademark from the region of Alentejo, we pre-selected very carefully grapes from the oldest vine to follow rigorously their maturation evolution. Only the best ones were harvested, exclusively manually. In the vinification center, they were crushed, fermented and left in prolonged contact with the skins for 10-12 days to extract all the fruit complexity and aroma. The malolactic fermentation occured with a part in stainless steel vats and the remainder in wooden casks. The selected final blend matured for 12 months in new French and American oaken casks to gain more structure and complexity and then for 6 months in bottles in our cellar.
- Tasting Notes: Deep garnet coloured. Rich and intense aroma of forest fruit as well as chocolate. Round, ample taste with a long finish. Velvety and complex flavours of fruit, toasted, chocolate and powerful tannins.

Senses Touriga Nacional
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: Regional Alentejo Wine
- Wine: Red
- Grape varieties: 100% Touriga Nacional
- Soil: Chalky clay and schist
- Vinification: Although the culture of Touriga Nacional is recent in Alentejo, this important variety of the Portuguese patrimony has already shown that we can obtain excellent results in South Portugal too. From the few but exceptional vineyards with Touriga Nacional, the best grapes were selected after a strict maturation control. In the winery, the process of alcoholic fermentation, with a prolonged skins contact during the first days, occurred at the temperature of 25ºC. Then the malolactic fermentation proceeded in stainless steel vats too. To gain better structure and complexity, the wine matured for 9 months in new French oaken casks and then for 4 months in bottles.
- Tasting Notes: Deep ruby colour, with an intense and elegant aroma with a predominance of floral notes, especially of violets and roses. Smooth, with a well-balanced astringency and acidity, harmonious mixture of vegetal and vanilla notes, particularly persistent at the finish.

Senses Alvarinho
- Region: Borba – Alentejo – Portugal
- Denomination: Regional Alentejo Wine
- Wine: White
- Grape varieties: 100% Alvarinho
- Soil: Calcareous and clay
- Vinification: The Alvarinho grape, a recent arrival to the Alentejo region, through this wine shows off its reputation for producing a quality wine. The grapes come from vineyards with moderate yields and good maturation that gives this wine its structure and freshness. The harvesting is performed by hand in the morning so that the temperature of the grapes is just right when they arrive at the winery. The grapes are transported in small quantities. After de-stemming and crushing the grapes are sent to be pressed. The wine is then cold system decanted for 24 hours for cold fermentation, then 50% of the wine goes new oak French and American oak casks, with strict control of temperature at 15°C. Stabilization and filtration is followed by bottling and a cellaring period of four months in the bottle.
- Tasting Notes: Crystal-like appearance with a ripe lemon color. Intense aroma of tropical fruits and candied citrus fruits. Enjoyable flavor, fresh, with hints of mild honey, peach and apricots and a touch of vanilla. Nice long finish and lingering freshness.

Cooperativa Agrícola de Borba (D.O. Alentejo)
Largo Gago Coutinho e Sacadura Cabral,
25 Apartado  Borba 20 Évora 7151-913
Telf: (00 351) 268 891 660

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