Soalheiro is a family winery located in the Minho region of Portugal, renowned for being the first Alvarinho wine brand in Melgaço. Its history began in 1974, when João António Cerdeira planted a small plot of Alvarinho grapes, called “Soalheiro”, meaning “sunny”, in reference to its location exposed to the sun all day long. In 1982, João António turned his passion into a small independent family production, officially starting the operation that would become Soalheiro.
Today, siblings Maria João and António Luís, along with their mother Maria Palmira Cerdeira, have embraced the winery’s spirit of innovation. António Luís, with a degree in oenology, has acquired a deep knowledge of the Alvarinho grape variety throughout his life. Maria João, a veterinarian by profession, took responsibility for viticulture and succeeded in introducing organic farming in her vineyards.
Soalheiro’s innovative vision extends to its territory, including the sustainable revitalisation of the surrounding rural area. This led the winery to invest in wine tourism and, more recently, in the production of herbal infusions.
One of the turning points in Soalheiro’s history was in 2005, when the winery completely changed the image of its wines. The old green packaging was replaced by a dark brown bottle to protect the wine from light, and the label was renewed. In respect for tradition, the same typographic design that is a defining part of the winery’s image was maintained.
The winery focuses on the Alvarinho grape variety and its many dimensions. In 2007, they started blending Alvarinho with different grape varieties, such as Loureiro in their ALLO wine. In the same year they launched the Reserva, a barrel-fermented Alvarinho. The red wine Oppaco, made from a blend of Alvarinho, Vinhão and Pinot Noir, is also very special for Soalheiro.
Wine tourism on offer at FINE 2023
The Soalheiro winery, besides being renowned for the quality of its wines, stands out for its wine tourism proposal, an experience that invites visitors to get to know the winery, its vineyards and its philosophy.
One of the main attractions of Soalheiro’s wine tourism experience is the possibility of guided tours of the vineyards, which allows visitors to learn about the grape growing process and the winery’s philosophy, which focuses on sustainable and environmentally friendly production.
In addition, the winery offers several wine tasting options, including the “Clássico Wine Tasting Experience” and the “Origins Wine Tasting Experience“, where visitors can taste some of the winery’s most emblematic wines, while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Minho Valley.
Soalheiro also stands out for its commitment to sustainability and innovation, as evidenced by its “eco-efficient bottle”, which reduced CO2 emissions by 19% during its manufacture and the construction of a “green roof” at its winery, which not only integrates the winery into the surrounding landscape, but also saves energy.