Soalheiro started in a vineyard in 1974. A few years later, winemaking equipment replaced the family’s red Ford Escort in the garage and the first labels with the name Soalheiro appeared. It all started in that vineyard with one family, but now it has become a family of families: our team. It was a passion for vines and wines that brought us together, and it is the respect for our Territory that moves us.
António Luís, better known as Luís Cerdeira, was born in Melgaço into the world of vines and wines. With a profound knowledge of Alvarinho, at the beginning of his professional career he was responsible for the Oenology Laboratory and a Wine Tasting Chamber for more than 20 years. He also taught oenology and wine marketing at a higher education institution, instilling in him the passion to always be learning. He fosters this spirit of permanent growth in Soalheiro’s management and oenology. Luís is the full-time manager and winemaker at Soalheiro, a role he performs with a lot of focus and passion. Famous for his spontaneous smile, he knows Soalheiro like nobody else.
He was two when his father, with the help of his grandparents, planted the first continuous Alvarinho vineyard in Melgaço in 1974. Son of the founders, his deep attachment to viticulture steered him to the Oenology course at UTAD (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro), from which he graduated in 1994. After many years by his father’s side, and a traineeship in Burgundy, it was that year that he completed his first harvest as winemaker at Soalheiro. His desire for organisation, quality, and the sustainability of the Territory resulted in the creation of the Club of Producers, a non-profit association managed by Luís since 2019. Heencourages the continuous improvement of Soalheiro’s team, and everything he does is guided by the search for quality and differentiation.
The mother, the heart and soul of Soalheiro, Maria Palmira has been there since the beginning of this project. Anyone who has the chance to be welcomed by her will feel the soul of our Territory like no-one else. Co-founder of the brand, her cheerfulness and vitality infect everyone around her. She has coordinated the winery for several years and being a primary school teacher by training, she has a way with words when she explains all the details of Soalheiro and its history. She is attentive and wholehearted, actively participating in the development of every aspect of our company.
A veterinarian by profession, Maria João was born to be surrounded by the vine, the land, and the animals. She is currently a global manager at Soalheiro and coordinates the vineyards, a project she fully embraced in 2004 when she had the whole vineyard at Quinta de Soalheiro certified for organic farming. She advocates for sustainable viticulture based on respect for the Territory. She always knew that she wanted to live here, inspired by her connection to the landscape and to the people of this region. She fosters these relationships through her coordination and supervision of more than 150 families of winegrowers, Soalheiro’s Club of Producers. The diversity of the Territory led us to invest in Infusions, a project that Maria João has cherished from the very beginning.
Hardworking and always keen to learn, Margarida studied radiology. But after living afar, her love for Melgaço brought her back to her roots and made her join our team. Margarida does the administrative work at Soalheiro and supports Wine Tourism and Communication. She is a mother of three kids and says that the most important thing is family. That is why she enjoys working here so much – our family spirit means our team is more than just colleagues. For Margarida, it is important that Soalheiro continues evolving and keeps the same spirit.
A man of few words, Luís stands out for his rigour and exactness. The vine and the wine are part of his background, but it is at the winery that he spends most of his days, always with a smile. He came from the construction world and discovered at Soalheiro the tranquillity he needed. He loves the authenticity and the simple things in the Territory, like letting his children run free through the vineyards. He says that the wax seal is an art that requires a lot of patience, giving him a certain calmness. All the Soalheiro bottles that need this process pass through his hands.
Tiago, following in his father’s footsteps, pursued studies in construction, but his passion for viticulture spoke louder. Today, he works in the field helping to take care of our vineyards. His passion is driving the machines, namely tractors and forklifts, which he does as if he was born behind the wheel. When he has the time, he loves to cook in the vineyard and enjoy local delicacies with a view of the unmistakable landscape of our Territory.
Miguel is an agricultural engineer and responsible for the Club of Producers. He concentrates on the viticulture at Soalheiro, focusing on issues related to sustainability and environmental responsibility. He has been working all over Portugal, but his passion for the Territory and for Alvarinho brought him back here. He loves spending the day in the vineyards, in contact with the producers and helping to make Alvarinho one of the most noble varieties in Portugal.
Rafael joined Soalheiro for a temporary job. Coming from the world of assembling concerts, he felt challenged to embrace a new world, the world of wines. This led him to join our production team. He works in different areas of the winery, from the bottling line to logistics. Rafel reinforces the Soalheiro team with commitment and enthusiasm, which is why he is an asset to all of his colleagues.
André developed the herbal teas project in Soalheiro from scratch. As a biologist, he has the rigour and methodology that plants demand, and the creativity to turn them into something healthy and tasty. His aim is to continue improving the quality of herbal teas, and to create new ones in the future, because he believes that the project has incredible potential.
Sandra grew up in Monção and the connection to her origins made her return to Portugal after 9 years in Switzerland, working in flower greenhouses. She says that it is working in the land that she feels good and that, no matter how many turns, “the root is stronger and always calls me”. Today, she is part of our infusions team and loves to combine her taste for working in the land, outdoors, with the aroma of aromatic plants.
Inquisitive and talkative, Daniel loves the countryside and the vineyards in the region. His true passion, however, is the winemaking process, so his job is more focused on the vats. He carries out all winery operations methodically and thoroughly, and his expertise in winemaking equipment is an added value for the team. His inquisitiveness has also led him to discover another passion: wine tasting. He describes the stages of winemaking and the different wine profiles with a precision and ease that captivates his listeners.
The atmosphere at Soalheiro vineyards is always cheerful and fun when Flávio is around. His infectious sense of humour permeates the entire team. He is an excellent storyteller, and his positive energy brings the team to life. A jack of all trades, proactive and skilful, he spends most part of his days in the vineyards, but also provides support to equipment maintenance and servicing. His love for the outdoors is evident through the passion and respect with which he talks about nature.
Hardworking and dedicated, Rafael likes to get his hands dirty. He worked for 5 years in a rubber factory but he always knew that he wanted to work in the field. The opportunity arose in Soalheiro and he seized it, embracing the opportunity to be outdoors. If we don’t see him in the fields of Soalheiro, we will definitely see him taking care of his own vineyards. Fun, hardworking and dedicated, he is attentive to detail and he cares, like the rest of the team, for all the particularities of our vineyards.
Odete has a contagious smile. She came to Soalheiro through the vineyard, she worked at the winery, and nowadays she takes great care of herbal teas. She works in all steps of the process, from the reproduction of the plants, taking care of them when growing in our fields, pruning them while maintaining the integrity of leaves, and packaging with care and affection. She loves figure skating (always accompanying her daughter to trainings and competitions), and dancing (despite saying she has two left feet).
Cláudia has wheels on her feet. She is always rushing from one place to another, making sure that none of the details are left out at Soalheiro. She also loves to drive old cars and travel in the motorhome with her family. Her sons have already acquired that taste and ride a quad bike around Soalheiro, the same place Cláudia used to play when she was their age. She grew up as a neighbour of the winery and spent many days there, especially during harvest.
André is the youngest and most recent member of our vineyard team. Born in Melgaço, the passion he has for viticulture is reflected in the dedication he employs in his everyday work. He joined us to do his final internship and ended up staying as part of the team. He does a little bit of everything at Soalheiro, but what he really likes is being outdoors, surrounded by vineyards and mountains.
Jorge was born in Monção, but it was in Porto that he grew up and graduated in Business Management. When he finished his degree, he ended up returning to Monção. He has always performed administrative functions in the jobs he has had. At Soalheiro he says he has found a place where he feels fulfilled – his taste for languages and interaction with customers led him to embrace our logistics team with enthusiasm and dedication.
Committed and cheerful, Sara was among one of the first to join the Soalheiro family. Born and bred in Melgaço, she is the perfect ambassador for the region and the gastronomic traditions of our land. She has been with us for more than a decade and has done a little bit of everything in this house, but what she enjoys doing most is the wine bottling and packaging. The process is now more mechanised, but Sara says that she doesn’t stand far away from the machines, always keeping her eyes on the process and making sure everything is in order.
Marta’s father planted his first vines when she was born, marking her entry into the world of wine. Spontaneous and fun, Marta joined Soalheiro’s team to work with the area of Wine Tourism and Communication. Expressive, dedicated, and hardworking, she explains the details of the terroir and winemaking with passion and commitment. In fact, it only takes a wine tasting guided by her to understand her charisma and passion for wine tourism. She is a true ambassador for Soalheiro, Alvarinho, and the Territory.
Always attentive and organised, António lives wine in his heart and soul. He rigorously organises his daily work and guarantees that nothing deviates from the plan. His good humour is contagious and you immediately feel a cosy familiarity when you are near him. António did not find his passion immediately, but in his 20s he started enjoying and working more in the countryside. The opportunity to be a tractor driver arose at Soalheiro and he decided to take it. He values the good atmosphere at the winery.
Always in a positive mood, João Bicha is always ready to help the team and lift its spirit. A long-time friend of the family, before officially working at Soalheiro João was already part of the house’s grape harvest team. He has been on this team longer than anyone else. For that reason, he won the status of operator of the presses during harvest time. Currently, he does a bit of everything at the winery, from taking care of the vats, to performing bâtonnage in the barrels, to sparkling dégorgement, to bottling and labelling.
João decided to trade the fast pace of the television industry in Porto for the calm of the Territory. Two days after he settled here, he discovered he was going to be a father, so he rolled up his sleeves and bought a vineyard. He came to Soalheiro to join the Producers Club and ended up handling our Communication. He says that the human quality and beauty around here keep surprising him every day.
Being part of the herbal teas team brings Andreia great joy. She especially likes our process of drying the herbs, because it ensures the maintenance of all the qualities that the plants develop. She enjoys respecting what nature creates and assuring a harmonious completion of the whole process, leaving the integrity of the leaves and a high percentage of essential oils. She is proud to be taking part in an innovative project in our Territory and pleased to watch the way it can reach anyone, anywhere.
Guilherme moved from Brazil to Portugal to study Restaurant and Hospitality Management. He has always liked music, food and wine because he believes that “these are the things that really bring people together and narrow the differences”. It was at school and working in a hotel that he discovered a taste for wine, which led him to come to Soalheiro for an internship. After the internship, he didn’t hesitate when he was invited to stay. Now he lives in Melgaço and here that he explores his passion for gastronomy and the Territory.
It is at the Quinta de Soalheiro winery that Edmundo spends most of his days. He carries out all his tasks with rigour and dedication, always bringing a cheerful energy to the vats while he whistles and sings. Passionate for gastronomy and the Minho river, he experiments with some really special lamprey recipes. And it’s not just any lamprey – he catches them himself.
Mónica is part of the Wine Tourism team. Her creativity and originality make every tasting different. She is inspired by the details and lives her passion for the terroir. Mónica loves to teach about Soalheiro and the Territory to people coming from all corners of the world. She graduated in visual arts and explores her artistic background in our social networks.
It was with an enormous will to learn that Mauricio joined the Soalheiro team. A recent graduate in Marketing and Communication, he saw an opportunity at Soalheiro to combine his taste for the world of wines with the desire to remain in his native land. It is in logistics that he finds his vocation, where his abilities are tested daily. Organised, methodical, and dynamic, he uses his expertise to ensure that Soalheiro products reach every part of the world in exceptional condition. A drummer in his spare time, it is in music that he finds the energy he needs to carry out all tasks with the utmost rigour.
Vitor João studied hotel management and completed several cooking courses, but it was his passion for taking care of his family’s vineyards and his connection to wine that brought him to Soalheiro. He started in the winery, working on the filling line and in the sparkling wine degórgement, but his ease of sharing knowledge and the willingness to communicate led him to join the Wine Tourism team – he says that he likes “to know a little bit of everything and to be useful in different company areas”. Besides the vineyard, he shares his spare time with another one of his passions, music.
Cláudia makes sure our winery is always shining, clean and pretty, something she used to do in her beauty parlour. She left when she heard that there was an opportunity to work for Soalheiro. Always willing to help with anything, Cláudia says that the days at Soalheiro are enjoyable because it is like being at home. The main difference is that her two boys are not running around.
Juliana was born and raised in Melgaço, but it was in Coimbra that she found her passion for Graphic Design. She quickly wanted to return North and found in Soalheiro a place to grow and develop her creativity. Humorous, fun, and eager to learn, she is now part of the Communication team as a designer. Each project is a challenge where she applies her passion and tries to leave her mark, always with an eye on Soalheiro’s “personality”.
Sheila is Brazilian and, according to her, she came to live in Portugal by chance. She had a ticket to return to Brazil after 3 months, but she never used it. Despite the cold (which she doesn’t like), Melgaço won her over. She didn’t hesitate to come to Soalheiro when the opportunity arose-“I came in the twinkling of an eye“-and she is now part of our maintenance team, mainly being in charge of the cellar. She says that she was impressed, at first, with the familiar spirit felt at Soalheiro.