Quinta do Piloto
Quinta do Piloto is a winery with a rich history spanning four generations, deeply entwined with the evolution of Palmela over a century. The story begins in 1900 when Humberto da Silva Cardoso embarked on a journey to Brazil in pursuit of fortune, only to return shortly thereafter. Undeterred, Humberto recognized an opportunity with the burgeoning automobile industry, leading him to establish the Autocarro Palmelense bus company—a pioneering venture in Portugal that achieved remarkable success.
Following the sale of his bus company, Humberto redirected his profits into viticulture, acquiring three expansive estates: Fonte da Barreira, Lau, and Alboal, where he embarked on vineyard cultivation. Simultaneously, he erected two wineries, starting with Quinta do Piloto, followed by Adega da Serra, marking the inception of the Cardoso family’s connection to winemaking.
Humberto’s commitment to viticulture expanded, and he became a prominent winegrower in the region, celebrated for his dedication to Palmela. His cultural contributions extended beyond winemaking, as he introduced the region’s first cinema, Cineteatro S. João, enriching Palmela’s cultural life. Subsequently, Humberto delegated the management of farms and wineries to his sons, Rui and Álvaro Cardoso, allowing him to fulfill his lifelong dream of traveling the world with his wife.
Álvaro Cardoso, at a young age, assumed leadership of the family business, preserving the original model. With nearly 1200 acres of vineyards, the Cardoso family ranked as the second-largest producer in the region after Rio Frio, the largest vineyard in Europe. They produced an extraordinary 3 to 4 million liters of wine, primarily sold in bulk to prominent regional companies. Álvaro’s contributions extended to Palmela’s development, notably bringing piped water to the region during his tenure as Chamber president.
Subsequently, Humberto’s nephew, Humberto, a trained agronomist, joined the company with aspirations of bottling their wines. This aspiration materialized with the fourth generation’s entry into the family business, led by Filipe Cardoso.
Filipe recognized the potential of the extensive old vineyards and the family’s collective experience. In 2008, the Quinta do Piloto project emerged, focusing on producing exceptional bottled wines in limited quantities.
Nestled in the Serra do Louro region of Palmela, within the Peninsula de Setubal wine region, Quinta do Piloto Winery now boasts 500 acres of vineyards, including 130 acres of old vines meticulously selected to yield the finest grapes. The climate, rainfall, and soil conditions in the region create an ideal environment for vine cultivation. The winery cultivates a range of grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional, Castelão, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Síria, Antão Vaz, Arinto, Moscatel Galego Roxo, and Moscatel de Setúbal. These grapes form the basis for crafting high- quality red, white, rosé, sparkling, and fortified wines. Here, traditional methods, such as amphorae aging vessels, harmoniously coexist with modern machinery and techniques.
Quinta do Piloto Winery proudly upholds its heritage, preserving original cellars and estates, Their wines represent the pinnacle of their extended family vineyards, with notable recognition received by their Piloto Collection Roxo wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge.
Rooted in ancestral methods, Quinta do Piloto wines are distinguished by their elegance, complexity, and charisma attributes shaped by the finest vines and a commitment to excellence.
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