Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas 2022


Primeiras Vinhas is a remarkable wine for Soalheiro and for the territory: as the name implies (in English “First Vineyards”), it was born from the first vineyard we’ve planted in 1974 on a plot called Soalheiro – it was the first Alvarinho continuous vineyard in Melgaço and, years later, became our brand’s name. The first harvest dates from 2006 and marks the first time that old vineyards were valued in the territory through a distinct Alvarinho, which started from the greater complexity of the old vineyards for a vinification where, at the time, around 15% of the batch fermented in oak barrels. It was elected several times as the best white wine in Portugal and the first Vinho Verde in history to achieve the highest distinction (Best in Show) in the biggest wine competition in the world, the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Currently, it is an driving force for the preservation of old vineyards in the territory and includes grapes from a selection of vineyards that are more than 30 years old, from our Viticulturists Club. 


2022 Harvest: innovation also goes through the classics 

Primeiras Vinhas 2022 reveals the greater complexity of the grapes from old Alvarinho vineyards in Monção and Melgaço, resulting in an elegant wine, its usual feature, full-bodied with a crunchy acidity, in a perfect balance between the joviality of the ripe fruit and the complexity brought by the wood in an almost imperceptible way. Versatile to pair, its time-honored characteristic has great potential for aging in the bottle. 

The wine ferments mostly in stainless steel vats, with 15% of the total volume fermented in oak containers. In this harvest, we decided to innovate and incorporated two more wooden containers in the vinification process, both oak, dividing the small part of the batch into used barrels, a foudre and a large barrel. With this evolution, we seek to move towards the philosophy that guides our wines, to amplify in the cellar what is given us by the territory, to better respect and sustain the elegance and complexity of the must from the old vines. 

A DRIVING FORCE for the old vines’ preservation in Monção and Melgaço 

The vineyard where this wine was born, Soalheiro, maintains its innovative feature and is also a place of study and learning – we have developed partnerships with universities and innovation centers to extend the oldest vineyards over time, which is a huge challenge because in our region the soils are very fertile, which makes the vineyards yield more, tiring sooner. What also seems obvious to us is that the older and wiser the vineyards are, the better they yield: they produce less, but grow grapes with a different profile. 

We have been working to raise awareness and share knowledge with our Viticulturists Club, along with cataloging all the vineyards, allowing us to identify the oldest vines – over 30 years old – and value them with specific harvests, obtaining musts that continue to surprise us. Valuing the territory involves identifying distinct and special profiles that demonstrate all the elasticity and uniqueness of Alvarinho in Monção and Melgaço. 

Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas 2022

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