Anta de Cima

We’re thrilled to welcome the beautiful wines of Anta de Cima to the Skurnik portfolio. Favorably situated in the distinctly cooler and hillier Portalegre district of northern Alentejo, the estate was acquired in the early 1990s by Paulo Tenreiro, an agronomist looking to put the traditional regional polyculture into practice. Sheep, pigs and cork oak share the estate with seven hectares of vines rooted in ubiquitous clay—more on that later. Wine production began in 2012, and since 2016 the vines have seen no synthetic pesticide treatments, although because of the boutique production size (only a few thousand cases) organic certification is, for the moment, economically unfeasible.

The wines are split into two ranges, a basic, tank-fermented range called simply Argilla (“clay”), and a higher-end range called Talha de Argilla (“clay amphora”). Talhas are the traditional wine storage vessels of the region. After an essentially unbroken tradition dating from the Roman period, the practice finally fell by the wayside in the middle of the 20th century, but never entirely died out—in fact, something of a renaissance is underway. In a region where the Feira da São Martinho on November 11th is celebrated by the ceremonial tapping of a clay amphora, and where many restaurants have always kept their own stock in talha, many producers have been (re)embracing this ancient technology. Anta de Cima is no exception, with three cuvées fermented and aged in these vessels.