Cortes de Cima Wines

This is the story of Cortes de Cima Family Vineyards

Dec 15, 2023Eden Hargreaves

The start of their journey

It all started with a sailboat called ‘Gazelle la Goelette’ and 2 sailors, Hans and Carrie Jorgensen! Sailing from the other side of the world and finally docking in Portugal, and in the heart of Alentejo they found “Cortes de Cima”. Though at the time it was just a barren land, they saw the potential for the vineyard and ideal spot to start a family.

Even though Vidigueira was the land of white varieties Hans and Carrie couldn’t ignore the climate, which was perfect for Syrah! Even if it was against the regulations of the appellation, they didn’t care and planted the Syrah anyway. In order to pay the bills, while the vineyard and their family was growing and establishing itself, they farmed sunflowers, tomatoes and melons. Their two children Thomas and Anna were born a few years after their arrival in 1991 and 1993 respectively.

The first grape year

1998 saw the first grape arrive and Syrah was born in Alentejo though produced under the label ‘Incognito’ because of the regulations of the appellation. ‘Incognito’ was presented to the world and was so successful that ‘Syrah’ couldn’t be outside the rules of the appellation anymore.

Today the helm is in Anna’s hands - "Winemaking is a path without written recipes, that requires presence and hard work in the vineyard, every day. The vineyard is the protagonist of the wines”.

Signature Blends

Their signature red blend, Cotes de Cima Tinto, hero’s Syrah and is a blend with 3 other varitals: Aragonez; Touriga Nacional; and Petit Verdot. This flagship red from Cortes de Cima blends the best of two worlds - the spiciness of the Mediterranean with the refinement of a Bordeaux. A wine that can be drunk or aged for several years to come.

Though Syrah was their first red grape, they do plant, produce and bottle other varietals. Their CDC Branco is an unusual blend of Alvarinho, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier. Exhibiting some rather interesting tasting notes of nectarine, brioche, hazelnut, citrus, and lemongrass. A great accompaniment to any spicy dish.

We couldn’t leave without mentioning their Amphora. This unique wine, a blend of 5 varietals, is aged for 14 months in 150-litre clay amphora, allowing the wine to breathe and a gentle concentration to take place. Amphora are similar to oak vessels, but without an oak taste. We have on good authority that this wine is now sold out of, as of 2019 – however we still have a few of the 2016 in stock and perhaps one worth discovering before they have all gone!

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