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Moreira & Picard Family Winemaking Project

We love wine and we love to make wine. And we love to tell stories about it. Like life itself, winemaking combines art, craft, love, sweat, tears, the odd drop of blood and quite a bit of luck and randomness. To be able to share our passion for winemaking with you, we built our winery right in the city, to be part of the city.

Frog Mating into Urban Winery

Magical thinking in 14 logical steps

1. Frog mating and magical thinking

before 2013

We started off as university researchers, Catarina as an evolutionary biologist exploring frog mating in Portugal and David as an anthropologist studying magical thinking in the Western Indian Ocean. We met at a barbecue party and have stayed together ever since.

2. Back to School

2013

We decided to make wine together and spent two years studying oenology and viticulture at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia at the University of Lisbon. A professional internship led us to the Alentejo region.

3. First batch of ``bathroom`` red

2013

The first red is made in our bathroom back in the Santa Catarina neighbourhood of Lisboa. It smelled like a mixture of superglue, overcooked strawberry jam and oloroso sherry. We kept it for those guests who wouldn't leave. It was a rather curious wine.

4. Rheingau and Geisenheim University

2014

We became Erasmus students for the first time in our lives and spent our second year of oenological studies with the Vinifera Euromaster Programme at the University of Geisenheim in Germany.

5. Travelling winemaker years

2015

Catarina became an assistant winemaker at Provins in the Swiss Valais and later at Grande Enseada in Redondo, Portugal. In 2017, she became the resident winemaker of Herdade da Barrosinha in Alcacer do Sal, where she worked until 2019 with one of Portugal’s most senior winemakers, António Saramago.

6. Wine tourism research around the world

2016

Research in South Africa, California, Bordeaux, Austria and China funded by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland where David had become a full professor, helped clarify how to bring wine tourism into the 21st century.

7. Aquisition of car repair shop

2016

We started looking for urban industrial sites and found this old car repair shop in Belém. We instantly fell in love with its weird and wonderful space full of antiquated equipment in a great location. It would become our winery.

8. Getting the land registry in order

2018

Two lawyers, four notaries and more than 70 neighbors helped us to update all legal documents linked to the land registry.

9. Building project submitted

2018

The project to transform the garage into a winery is submitted to the municipality of Lisbon.

10. Building works finally start

2019

The winery gets an earthquake-proof steel structure, new piping, new electric cabling, fire doors and an energy saving roof.

11. The cellar equipment arrives

2019

Ten custom made stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, pumps, a destemmer and a horizontal press are put in the cellar. The winemaking equipment is ready for work.

12. Ready to roll

2019

The winery gets its winery license and is ready to operate.

13. Opening of the tasting room

2020

After an intensive year of demolition works, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, plastering, painting, dealing with contractors and website programming, the winery is ready to open to the public. The Corona virus epidemics forces us to delay this til the summer.

14. First full vintage

2020

While using other wineries for our 2018 and 2019 vintages, 2020 is the first full vintage produced in the Belém winery.

From grape to wine glass

Urban winemaking practicalities
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Arinto, Moscatel Graúdo, Touriga Nacional, Antão Vaz, Alicante Bouschet, Castelão, Aragonez, Tinta Barroca — our wines are made from native varietals grown under integrated vineyard management on both sides of the Tagus River.

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Planted by local vine gardeners in the Atlantic climate of the Lisbon and Setúbal wine regions, our grapes benefit from an extended grape-ripening period, due to the unique combination of long hours of sunshine and the cooling effect of both the Atlantic Ocean and Tagus River.

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Our grapes are handpicked in the early morning hours. We have a small lorry, a Toyota Dyna 150, almost as old as we are (but in much better shape), to carry the grapes to the winery where we ferment them using mainly low intervention techniques. We process around 15 tons of grapes a year.

Wine by humans for humans

Winemaking technology

Our low intervention approach to winemaking combines traditional techniques of spontaneous fermentation, oak barrel aging, foot stomping and grape skin maturation with contemporary cellar technology.

Minimizing impact

Our cooling system and pumps with frequency inverter minimize energy consumption. We are member of the Portuguese and various European recycling schemes.

Awards

One day, our wines will win many prizes in international wine competitions.

Wine tasting glasses

We use professional wine tasting glasses, smaller than gastronomic glasses, with an opening narrower than their convex part so as to concentrate the aroma.

Waste water treatment

The winery uses waste water filters and has its own waste water treatment plant, reducing its CBO footprint by 90%.

Public subsidies

Because of the uniqueness of our project, we did not fit any public funding category and did not receive any subsidies.

Sulfides

Because wine is the ephemeral state of grape must transforming into vinegar, we use minimal amounts of sulfides to preserve it as wine.

Laboratory

Our laboratory is equipped to monitor acidity, pH, density, temperature and SO2 levels in the grape must and wines.

Family Winery

We are a family winery where everyone gets involved. And interns learn every aspect of work in a winery.

TEAM

Catarina Moreira
Chief Winemaker

Evolutionary biologist and winemaker, Catarina is involved in all daily operations

Julio Moreira
Chief distinguished wine taster

Júlio is strong as a bear and has decisive ideas whenever all else fails.

David Picard
Chief Mädchen für alles

Anthropologist and winemaker, David is involved in all daily operations

Helena Nascimento
Chief Lab Rat

Helena is a chemist and the best Portuguese grandmother in the world

Ana Lula & Sofia
The chief bosses

Ana and Sofia own their parents and grandparents and are the actual bosses of the entire venture.

Chief Tasting Room Assistant
Chief Tasting Room Assistant

Knows all about wine, is extremely patient, knows how to tell good stories, speaks 27 languages

Lili
The chief winery dog

Lili is a professional tennis ball fetcher and keeps the whole team together

Intern from here or there
Chief Multitasking Intern

Has a lot of patience, will to learn, endurance, muscle power, appetite and a driving licence.