Encostas do Alqueva's mission is to expand investment in Portugal's wine industry. The goal is to foster "the best traditions of the region, both in terms of grape varieties and style of its wines" with a team of quality winemakers and the benefits of a modern production team. Their cellar, Adega Cooperativa da Granja has been centered in the Alentejo making wine in the same spot for over 60 years.
The EdA owner, José Piteira, continues to make his namesake clay jar wines, Piteira, to preserve both an ancient tradition and the centennial vineyards that are at risk of disappearing. The clay jar wines are produced by primarily manual and artisanal methods: grapes are destemmed and crushed by hand and the must and skins are deposited into the Talha (clay jars) where fermentation starts spontaneously.
The Encostas de Alqueva vineyards devoted to Talha wines are planted on soils are composed with the ancient River Guadiana pebbly bed sediment is rich in quartz stones. This unique soil allows for great drainage and deep rooting vines. Combined with the old vine character of the vineyard, the wines made from this Amareleja vineyard achieve a level perhaps unequalled in Alentejo.
Fermentation lasts up to 3 months during which a rodo--a tool similar to a squeegee--is used to rotate the wine and lees daily. This method is used with both the red and whites and so the highly ageable white wines have a much richer body with a roasted yellow to orange tone and a full body with a great tannic structure and a complex flavor profile.