Adega Marel, guided by the ethos “We Are Our Heritage,” is nestled in the captivating Alentejo sub-region of Granja-Amareleja. Situated along the left bank of the Guadiana River, in the quaint village of Amareleja, this region is renowned for its scorching temperatures, presenting a formidable challenge to grape cultivation.
This is no ordinary winery; it’s a labor of love undertaken by a passionate and youthful team. Adega Marel’s inception was driven by a profound appreciation for “Vinho de Talha” (Amphora or Clay Pot Wine) of Amareleja, a profound connection to its people, customs, and traditions.
The heart of Amareleja beats to the rhythm of Talha wine, an integral part of daily life, culture, and identity. It has deep historical roots, dating back over two millennia to the Roman era. Today, it continues to be a central thread in the social fabric, with families crafting their own wines in talhas, typically for personal use and communal gatherings. So deeply ingrained is this tradition that you’ll even find Adega Marel wines named after cherished family members. Over generations, the art of crafting wine in clay pots has been lovingly passed down, evolving slightly with each local tradition. The result is a wine of unparalleled richness and diversity.
Amareleja’s landscape is an enchanting tapestry of small plots, predominantly adorned with vineyards and olive groves. Adega Marel’s commitment to preserving ancient vineyards and native grape varieties is evident in its meticulous acquisition of long, narrow plots known as “courelas.” These courelas bear the names of their former stewards, a tribute to their enduring dedication.
Let’s explore some of Adega Marel’s remarkable vineyards:
- Agulhas: Planted with the Moreto grape variety in 2015, Agulhas vineyard, adjacent to Narra, showcases exceptional grape development. Its sandy soils, with minimal pebble presence, underscore the region’s micro- diversity.
- Asper: Covering 2.5 hectares of old vines, Asper features the Diagalves grape variety, intermingled with strains of Moreto. It shares sandy soil characteristics with the neighboring Agulhas vineyard.
- Bancaleiro: This six-acre vineyard, aged over 20 years, cultivates the Moreto and Trincadeira grape varieties. Its grapes are destined for crafting the renowned red Talha Wine.
- Narra Brancos: Comprising two “courelas” traversed by a watercourse, Narra Brancos boasts sandy loam soils with pronounced pebble and rock presence. Grape varieties include Antão Vaz, Rabo-de-Ovelha, and, more recently, Encruzado.
- Narra Tintos: Another segment of the earliest vineyard acquisitions, Narra Tintos comprises several “courelas,” each with distinct grape varieties. Spanning approximately 11 acres, this vineyard features sandy clay loam soil, punctuated by an abundance of pebbles. Grape varieties include Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Touriga Nacional.
- Pura: The oldest registered vineyard, dating back to 1931, potentially even older, Pura encompasses around four acres and boasts the Diagalves (or Pendura) grape variety, destined for crafting Talha Wine.
- Raimundo: Planted in 2020, Raimundo vineyard introduces the Roupeiro, Trincadeira das Prata, and Perrum varieties into the repertoire.
Adega Marel stands as a testament to the deep-rooted traditions and unwavering commitment to preserving the heritage of Amareleja. Through its remarkable vineyards and devotion to crafting Talha Wine, Adega Marel invites you to savor the essence of this extraordinary land.
Here, history and passion converge in every bottle, offering a truly exceptional wine experience.
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