Quinta de Santiago
Quinta de Santiago has remained under the family’s ownership since 1899. For nearly a century, it served as the heart of their self-sustaining haven, where they cultivated an array of goods, including wines, olive oil, lupine, cereals, and more. The grapes nurtured during that era found their way to larger enterprises in the region.
In 2009, a determined matriarch, Grandma “Mariazinha,” at the remarkable age of 86, ignited the spark that birthed the “Quinta de Santiago” boutique winery. Her entrepreneurial spirit and lifelong devotion to vineyards and wine became the driving force behind a bold challenge presented to the family: to cease selling grapes and embark on their winemaking journey. A resolute woman with unwavering convictions, she insisted that the sharing of her legacy must entail a return to their roots as a family.
The urban lives they led, consumed by bustling careers, were gradually replaced by a deep passion for wine, vineyards, and rural life, all fostered under her watchful eye. Three generations of the Santiago family, blending the wisdom of their elders with the vitality of the young, came together to forge the “Quinta de Santiago” brand. In 2014, the inaugural vintage marked the beginning of this remarkable journey.
Leading the project is Joana Santiago, a lifelong learner and perpetual innovator. She manages national and international markets, drives marketing and product development, and inspires the team with her unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. Joana’s remarkable journey from a 15- year career as a lawyer to her passion for vineyards, influenced by her time with her grandmother, exemplifies her dedication. Many bottle labels, adorned with hearts and embroidery, honor her beloved grandmother.
Quinta de Santiago extends across 18 picturesque acres along the banks of the Minho River in the Monção and Melgaço sub-region of Vinho Verde. Nestled along the northern border of Portugal and Spain, the estate benefits from a microclimate perfectly suited for cultivating Alvarinho, Loureiro, and various indigenous red grape varieties. The unique orientation of the Quinta shields the vineyards from the brunt of Atlantic influences while preserving the thermal variations necessary for the optimal ripening of native grapes. The clay-rich soil, a gift from the nearby Minho River, supports lush vineyards nestled amid a tapestry of fruit trees, nuts, and olive groves, nourishing a rich ecosystem.
Sustainability and biodiversity are central to Joana’s vision. She has galvanized a community of regional growers committed to responsible water use and the preservation of local natural resources. Wines are crafted with native yeasts, allowing the land and its bounty to speak eloquently through every glass, an approach that epitomizes their hyper-organic ethos. All their wines are proudly vegan.
Their journey starts with careful groundwork, including vine selection and embracing eco-friendly practices, avoiding herbicides, and nurturing pollinator-friendly environments. They focus on improving soil water retention, fostering biodiversity, and repurposing vine by-products as nutrient-rich compost. Environmental impact is minimized, and grape harvesting is a manual labor of love. Winemaking involves gentle pressing, natural settling, and fermentation with native yeasts, mainly in stainless steel vats, with some wines aging in oak barrels.
In every bottle bearing the Quinta de Santiago label, one can find the essence of this family’s heritage, the wisdom of generations, and their unwavering commitment to sustainable, exquisite winemaking.
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.