The formal tour of the Alentejo wineries begins with Herdade das Servas owned by the Serrano Miro family. The family has been making wine here for generations.
After we drive up to the elegant estate we are warmly greeted by export manager Joao Calado, who gives us a fabulous tour. The wines from this “wine house” are famous around the world. Joao is careful to mention that you will not find these wines in supermarkets. Wines from the top tier at this estate are served at the finest Michelin star restaurants, even though the entry level wines are very affordable.
Every winery has its usual collection of barrels and stainless steel tanks, but the surprise here is that there are actual traditional marble lagares here, reserved to “press” the finest grapes from the best vineyards by foot, in the “traditional method” you might have seen in a rerun of the old TV show “I Love Lucy.”
We are invited to enjoy a generous lunch in the gorgeous Herdade Das Servas restaurant, and Joao offers us tastes of the range of wines from this house.
Though historically Alentejo wines are blends because of the climate, Herdade das Servas is one of the few producers who make single varietals. After tasting excellent examples of white and red blends, we tried single varietal wines from both the Petite Verdot and Alicante Bouchet grape, both matured in French oak.
Joao is an amazing presence and personality. He is very excited and passionate about the wines he represents. He knows the international target markets in an intimate fashion.