The Festival of the new wine with the opening of the “Talhas” returns on November 13th to Alentejo (Portugal)
In Alentejo, Southern Portugal, the tradition of Amphora Wine, begun by the Romans over two thousand years ago, has never been lost. Every year for thousands of years, on Saint Martin’s day (11th November) the huge jars are opened in wineries around the area and the new wine is tasted. Not surprisingly it is a very popular celebration with some villages even holding competitions and prizes for the “Wine of the Year”. In these sunny places, ideal for the cultivation of the vine, grapes are still fermented in majestic amphorae called “talhas” which stand man-high, above ground in their cellars. The resulting high quality wine is not only fermented and vinified in terracotta, in local taverns and restaurants it is served directly from the talhas themselves (another Roman custom) and consumed until all the wine inside is finished. In times gone by this would take nearly all year, till just before the summer of the following year.
Pedro Riberiro, owner of Herade Do Rocim, a most welcome guest of past editions of our biennial “Terracotta and Wine”, produces wine this way and believes strongly in this millenary culture. To preserve it and share it with the general public, he launched an event to coincide with the traditional opening day of the talhas, inviting other producers who make wine exclusively in amphora to take part. Thus the “Amphora Wine Day”, an entire day devoted to the celebration and tasting of the precious nectar fermented in terracotta.
The Rocim company is located right in the heart of Alentejo, between Cuba and Vidigueira. The first edition of “Amphora Wine Day” was held in 2018 with an excellent success, then repeated in 2019. With great enthusiasm Pedro Ribeiro re-proposes the 2021 edition on November 13th: “Amphora Wine is the symbol of a millenary culture that has been preserved in Alentejo thanks to the strong conviction of its people in maintaining a typical product which binds local knowledge and flavours in a unique expression of perseverance, thus contributing to the success of the renowned Alentejo region”.