The wine journey of the Santos family is deeply rooted in generations past, where knowledge and passion for winemaking were lovingly transmitted with each harvest, uniting family and friends in the rustic Quinta da Teixuga’s small winery. This longstanding tradition eventually evolved into a transformative project, a testament to the Santos family’s unwavering determination. In 2012, driven by their enduring passion for Dão wine, they made the resolute decision to return to their ancestral roots and embark on a new chapter in their vinicultural journey.
Paulo Santos, at the helm, was joined by his two daughters, who traded careers in law and marketing to breathe new life into their family’s heritage. They set out to reimagine their old family vineyard and traditional winemaking practices, ultimately giving rise to a modern, state-of-the-art winery. This duality of tradition and innovation that characterizes their path is encapsulated in the name of their endeavor – Caminhos Cruzados, or Crossroads.
The winery itself stands as a bold and modern architectural marvel, distinctly shaped like an X, symbolizing the intersection of these two contrasting paths. The name Caminhos Cruzados embodies the belief that life rarely unfolds in a linear fashion; rather, it often leads us to extraordinary destinations through unconventional routes. The underlying ethos is that when two paths converge, much like the old and the new in this project, something truly remarkable can emerge.
Nestled within the pristine landscapes of the Dão area in the Beira Alta region of northern Portugal, specifically in Nelas, the company, vineyards, and winery find their home. Shielded from prevailing winds by the protective embrace of the Caramulo, Montemuro, Buçaco, and Estrela mountains, this region boasts an ideal terroir for winemaking.
The vineyards, situated between 400 and 700 meters in altitude, grace shallow plateaus with granitic soils, amidst lush pine forests. This unique setting yields wines characterized by slow ripening, rich aromas, full-bodied richness, and exceptional aging potential. The vineyards are home to a diverse array of grape varieties, with an average vine age of 50 years, including Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, and Tinta Roriz among the reds, and Encruzado, Bical, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, and Verdelho among the whites.
Quinta da Teixuga at Caminhos Cruzados encompasses a sprawling 103-acre estate, where the vineyards envelop the imposing winery. The modern winemaking facility, a striking architectural achievement completed in 2017, boasts a remarkable vinification capacity of 400,000 liters. This innovative development breathed new life into the Dão region, aptly earning Caminhos Cruzados the affectionate moniker “O Novo Dão,” or the New Dao, signifying its renaissance within a contemporary framework.
At the core of their mission lies an unwavering commitment to sustainability, both in viticulture, their landscape and in fostering a sustainable community. Their dedication to sustainability is not merely a principle but a living practice that underscores their every endeavor.
In 2020, Caminhos Cruzados proudly became a part of the Terras e Terroir Group, a strategic move that further solidified their commitment to excellence and growth in the world of fine wines.
Caminhos Cruzados stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of tradition and innovation, where the past and present intersect to create a future brimming with exceptional wines and enduring legacies.
Distributed via Craft Cellars, Craft Collective’s wine division, offering a carefully curated selection of wine from small, artisan producers worldwide, with a focus on quality, passion, and unique, distinctive wines.