The Estate is located in the Alto Alentejo region 10km from Évora in the Paço do Morgado de Oliveira, a medieval palace founded in 1306 where Fitapreta's winery, a cork building built in 2017 and part of Fitapreta's vineyards are located. Paço do Morgado de Oliveira is less than 1h30m from Lisbon and covers over about 100 hectares.
The Fitapreta Vinhos Estate began to be built at the end of the 14th century, but underwent changes over the centuries, particularly during the 19th, when the Saldanha family took over the building. The thorough historical and archaeological research that has been done on the site at the request of António Maçanita, contains, the first document in Évora that reference rules applied to the vineyard and wine trade, written by Martinho de Oliveira, Morgado of the palace at the time.
The restoration of the estate's buildings is being carried out with respect for its history and always with archaeological monitoring. In an un-rehabilitated area, what is believed to be the oldest winery in Évora was discovered. It is now known that the entirety of Morgado de Oliveira palace dates from the 14th century, making this one of the oldest buildings in Évora. But it wasn't always so, according to Túlio Espanca, the works carried out in the 19th century to modernise the building by an inheritor concealed the archaeological value of the original building.
António Maçanita, in his adventurous spirit, dug through the layers of putty down to the stone and discovered five ogival arched doors, a frieze, and three pairs of ogival twinned windows also medieval on floor 1, rescuing the original medieval skeleton of the building and its magnitude to the estate. The details of this acquisition are interesting in their own right, an alliance of D. João Saldanha’s and António Maçanita’s goals, which followed two principles: on the one hand, the recovery of an estate at risk of degradation, and on the other, the guarantee of continuity for the Saldanha family, who have owned and valiantly maintained the building since its institution in 1306.
Fitapreta acquired 87% of the palace on the Estate, overseeing its recovery and the right to its exclusive use, the original family keeping the rest, in a testimony of continuity to one of the oldest and most important Majorat’ of Portugal, the Morgado de Oliveira.
At Fitapreta heritage can be experienced in a relaxed and cosmopolitan way, with Évora – a World Heritage city – as a background landscape.
The Fitapreta Winery is a meeting of the old and the modern, tradition and rebellion. In an area of the Paço do Morgado da Oliveira, what is thought to be the oldest winery in Évora was found.
The new Fitapreta winery building keeps the heart of the original Paço building, without copying its dimensions. In its own language, it confers unity and harmony without overshadowing the Palace. Respecting the existing silhouette, Fitapreta's new winery remains low like the nature that frames it. It draws inspiration from the ample and tall windows, the roof slants, the stonework masonry, the wide estate entrances of the palace, in the straight lines of cork cladding.
Cork was chosen as a material because it is sustainable, noble and abundant in the Alentejo. It reflects the essence of wine and relates to the Palace.
Symbolically, and taking advantage of the historic and present designation of the Paço do Morgado da Oliveira (olive tree), olive trees were planted along the main Entrance path.
Every thing about Fitapreta's project invites a dialogue between a medieval palace and contemporary architecture, like the wines that combine ancestry and innovation and even the winery.
It is in the Palace, in the Sala dos Arcos, that the white wine winery is located. From here the Fitapreta white wines are born, from amphora and vat, from indigenous and red wines, from old and new vines. It is also the winemaker António Maçanita's trial winery, where he gives freedom to his ideas and dreams. In the Palace, all the wines that are matured in French oak barrels are reserved for the Sala das Colunas and the Palace Chapel.
The new winery is located in one of the buildings commissioned by Fitapreta, where red wines are produced, a winery built with a non-interventionist and sustainable vision, where the masses are kept in motion by gravity, fermentation is spontaneous and the wines evolve in stainless steel vats or in amphora, later they can be sent to the Palace Chapel to age some more.
Fitapreta's new vineyards surround the new winery and the Palace with the Arinto, Baga and Tinta Miúda grape varieties, to name a few. The remainder are planted in special locations around Évora, Redondo, Borba and Fronteira. One of these very special vineyards, the Chão dos Eremitas vineyard, is located at the foot of Serra d'Ossa, where vines have been planted continuously since the 14th century.