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Maçanita Winemaking

Maçanita Winemaking has a minimalist, non-interventionist approach. The magic is in the vineyards and the places where the grapes come from, the siblings have a philosophy that defies convention. Smashing stereotypes and searching for the small treasures of the Douro with an open mind.

The white wines, Maçanita Branco, Gouveio by Joaninha and Folgasão from both siblings, are Joana Maçanita's main focus at the beginning of each harvest. Her winemaking always seeks to respect the fruit and purity of the grapes. The white grapes are pressed whole bunch without de-stemming, then gently pressed in a pneumatic press, without adding sulphur.

The wine undergoes slight oxidation that disappears after 24 hours in stainless steel cold decanter.

The fermentation temperatures are low, around 12 to 14ºC, trying to keep all the freshness and minerality of the Baixo Corgo vines from which these grapes come from. The wine ages in stainless steel on its primary lees until the day of bottling.

In making white wines from old vines, there are many varieties. We count about 17 different ones in each of our wines from ancient vineyards, as in the Olgas Branco and Os Canivéis Branco. Grape varieties with very different maturation times, such as the viosinho, that matures much earlier than the arinto variety. However, they are all in the same vineyard mixed together.

This mix of grape varieties brings a great richness of colour, texture, and acidity to the must and, of course, a very different approach to oenology than that used in the production of single variety wines. There are so-called oxidative grape varieties that have a very expressive fruit aroma in the first months of life, but which eventually fade away.

We have other varieties in the old vineyards that are very aromatic, more reductive, with a much longer aroma life span. All these factors are considered when the oenology at the Maçanita winery brings the most faithful form of that over 120 years old small parcel of vineyard to the bottle. The white grapes from ancient vineyards or old vines follow older oenology techniques, they are pressed whole bunch into neutral barrels (barrels used to make more than 7 wine) and ferment at free temperature, which generally reaches between 21º and 24ºC. 

After fermentation, some of the barrels also complete malolactic fermentation (fermentation that occurs after alcoholic fermentation, where malic acid is converted into lactic acid, an acid that is less strong and makes the wines softer).

The wines are aged on primary lees for 12 to 15 months in neutral barrels, then filtered and bottled.

Our Touriga Nacional em Rosé is one of the great oenology discoveries at the Maçanita Winery. Created by chance, it turned out to be a prime wine in our portfolio. Initially, the Rose produced at the Maçanita Winery was only a by-product from the saignée method on red grapes, to concentrate the red wines in years of heavy rain during harvest time. In 2015, at the Maçanita winery, only the juice of the Touriga Nacional grape variety underwent saignée. You could taste the freshness of the grapes straight from the vineyards. Today, the oenology process used to produce Maçanita Rose follows the same method of “saignée” of red grapes. And adds the grapes of Touriga Nacional from Baixo Corgo at 700 metres altitude, which are pressed whole bunch, direct press and then fermented cold in stainless steel tanks.


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