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Talha | Alentejo

Talha | Alentejo

Deep in Portugal's Alentejo region, a timeless tradition of winemaking endures – the art of crafting wines in large clay vessels called talhas. This practice, passed down for over two millennia, is a unique expression of the region's history, terroir, and deep connection to the land.

The Romans first introduced the use of amphorae, a type of clay pot, for wine fermentation. In the Alentejo, these vessels evolved into talhas, large, terracotta jars buried partially underground. This ingenious method not only provided natural insulation but also imparted a subtle earthiness to the maturing wine.

The Talha winemaking process is a beautiful simplicity. Harvested grapes, often a blend of indigenous varieties, are gently crushed and placed directly into the talhas. Here, fermentation occurs naturally, guided by the ambient temperature and the native yeasts present on the grape skins. During this time, the winemaker might use a wooden plunger to push the cap of skins back down, ensuring optimal extraction of color and flavor.

Unlike modern wineries that rely on temperature control and various additives, Talha wines are left largely to their own devices. This minimal intervention allows the character of the Alentejo terroir to shine through. The porous clay walls of the talhas allow for a slow, gentle micro-oxygenation, contributing to the development of complex aromas and a smooth, textured mouthfeel.

Traditionally, the talhas remained sealed until St. Martin's Day, on November 11th. On this day, the clay stoppers would be removed, and the wine drawn directly from the vessel. These wines were meant for immediate enjoyment, unfiltered and unfined, a pure expression of the grape and the earth.

Today, the Talha tradition is experiencing a revival. A growing number of winemakers, while embracing modern technology in some aspects, are rediscovering the potential of these ancient vessels. They recognize that Talha wines offer a unique perspective on Alentejo wines, one that is deeply rooted in history and speaks of the land's soul. As this resurgence continues, Talha wines are finding their place on tables worldwide, captivating palates with their authenticity and timeless charm.

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Niepoort - NatCool Copo Alegre 1L
Sold outHerdade do Cebolal - 2017 - Branco de Uvas Tintas - Castelão
Sold outAnta de Cima - 2017 - Talha de Argilla Branco
Sold outAnta de Cima - 2016 - Talha de Argilla Tinto
Herdade do Esporão - 2018 - Vinho de Talha Roupeiro Branco
Herdade do Esporão - 2019 - Vinho de Talha Moreto Tinto
Herdade do Esporão - 2017 - Vinho de Talha Roupeiro Branco
Herdade do Cebolal - 2019 - Clarete
Herdade do Cebolal - 2021 - Palhete
Herdade do Cebolal - NatCool Branco
Herdade do Cebolal - Branco
Herdade do Cebolal - Branco Sale price€15,00
Herdade do Cebolal - NatCool Tinto
Anta de Cima - 2015 - Talha de Argilla Tinto Magnum 1.5L
Ciclo - N/V - Vinho Branco
Ciclo - N/V - Vinho Branco Sale price€16,99
Ciclo - N/V - Vinho Tinto Castelão
Gerações da Talha - 2021 - NaTalha - Tinto