With a century and a half of tradition in winemaking, Ervideira keeps growing and goes from the Alentejo to the rest of the country
When we hear about centuries-old wine producers, whose production has spanned four or five generations, I dare to say that our mind immediately travels to the center and north of the country. It doesn’t exactly put us in the Alentejo. In this region there are excellent wine producers, but the vast majority, in the first or at most second generation.
This is not the case with the Ervideira winery.
Wine production here dates back to 1880, when the illustrious Conde D’Ervideira – great-grandfather of the current owner, Duarte Leal da Costa – started wine production in the Évora region.
Since then, Ervideira has remained in a completely familiar structure and already has the 5th generation of producers.
Ervideira owns a total of 395 acres of vineyards, split over the Vidigueira and Reguengos de Monsaraz subregions. Two very hot areas of the country, where strong and full-bodied wines are born!
Twenty years after launching the first wine, in 1998, Ervideira inaugurated its Wine Lounge next to the winery in Évora. It already had a store and tasting room within the walls of this historic city, but the Ervideira Wine Lounge emerged as a new concept of wine tourism.
And I went to visit it!
I was nicely hosted by Ana, who took me on the usual visit to the cellar and barrel room, where each of the brand’s twenty references is produced and aged. They are sparkling, white and red wines and fortified wines, all with a strong Alentejo identity.
The Ervideira Wine Lounge is a calm, bright space, with a view of the immense Alentejo and surrounded by wines! What else could I ask for!? Ana told me that the idea of creating the Wine Lounge was not limited to organizing wine tasting at the Ervideira house, but ultimately helping the visitor to understand more about the Alentejo terroir.
One of the activities offered to the visitor is the possibility to “put on the shoes” of the winemaker and make a wine according to their taste, by tasting the different grape varieties – discovering its aromas and characteristics – and creating the blend they like the most!
That day, I just sat at one of the tables in the room, enjoying what was in front of me. Yes, a fantastic view, but in addition there was a delicious snack prepared just for me! A selection of homemade bread, cheese, jams and regional sausages to taste with the wines that followed.
Here at Ervideira Wine Lounge, visitors are free to choose the wines they want to taste. And since the choice is not easy, there is always someone in the room to help you understand and choose each wine.
My selection was:
Invisible – The first production and certification of white wine made from a red grape, in this case Aragonez. This wine fills the mouth with notes of aromatic herbs and a balanced acidity.
Conde d’Ervideira Private Selection red – a very fragrant wine on the nose, full-bodied and gastronomic, representing the Alentejo very well
In 2020, Ervideira decided to take the first steps outside its comfort zone.
With more than 100 years of history in the wine world in Portugal, this producer left the Alentejo to extend his wine tourism to other cities in the country.
In February, Fátima was the first bar and tasting room to be opened, followed by Lisbon. In these rooms it is possible not only to buy wine – some exclusive to Ervideira Club – but also to taste the wines paired with some typical Alentejo products.
I’ve only visited the Lisbon store, but I already noticed that the decoration of the different venues follows a minimalist line, with light color tones and nice natural light.
According to Duarte Leal da Costa, Restelo – the neighborhood where the Lisbon store is located – was designed based on our goal of wanting to be on the city’s tourist route. We don’t want to be just another wine room and shop, but rather a place where consumers and tourists can find our best references and have a memorable experience.
In the eyes of the Ervideira, Fátima was also chosen because it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal and being a region without a great history of wine production, it seemed just an excellent opportunity.
This is Ervideira growing, continuing a legacy of several generations and proving that it still has a lot of history to write!