Located in the North of Portugal, Minho region is delineated by the border with Galicia in Spain and by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of over 1.1 million people, the region is often associated with the greenness of its natural surroundings, where there is plenty of water, a rugged landscape of enormous beauty and biodiversity, a landscape that becomes flatter nearer the valleys of the four rivers that cross the region and in the many beaches of its coastal area. The unique and traditionally man-made landscape is characterised by vineyards and maize fields, villages with granite buildings and manor houses which, along with the hospitality of its people, the rich gastronomy and the vibrant traditions are the other features often associated with the region’s character! The artistic expressions date back to the Romantic, passing through the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Minho is the biggest wine producing region in Portugal. The region’s climate is influenced by the sea breeze that blows from the Atlantic Ocean and this is why the temperatures are mild all year round. The precipitation levels are very high, which results in relatively high humidity levels, thus allowing for light, mildly acidic and delicate sparkling wines to be obtained.
Founded by the Honourable Vasco Faria, the company is a family-run business with a strong connection to the winemaking sector since 1975. Currently run by the founder’s grandson, it has 4 properties: 2 in Guimarães (Quinta de Freixieiro e Quinta de Cutiães) and 2 in Famalicão (Quinta de Pereira e Quinta do Xisto) where the “Encosta do Xisto” vinho verde is produced, using solely and exclusively the finest grapes from our very own vineyards. In the properties located in the Minho region, where there are around 24 hectares of vineyards, you can find the best wine grape varieties around this area. They are used to produce the white wines (Loureiro, Alvarinho, Trajadura e Arinto), the rosés (Espadeiro) and the reds (Vinhão), all highly regarded in this region. The grapes are harvested by hand and keeping the wine grape varieties apart allows the wine to be made separately, and later divided into lots according to the resulting wine characteristics. In our property, Quinta do Xisto, in Requião, Vila Nova de Famalicão, there is a wine cellar where all the sparkling and green winemaking takes place, using the latest traditional winemaking methods.
Quinta de Pereira, located in Esmeriz (Vila Nova de Famalicão), dates back to 1170 when and it was founded by a noble medieval knight, D.Nuno Gonçalves Pereira but was D.Nun'Alvares Pereira who immortalized this property offering as dowry to the marriage of D. Afonso I (King of Portugal) to his daughter. Centuries after, was acquired in 1975 by Vasco Faria that decide to star dedicate the land of the estate to the production of grapes to produce high quality vinho verde under the brand "Encosta do Xisto".
Quinta de Cutiães, located in Guardizela (Guimarães), is the oldest of our estates in Minho region and its history is prior to the founding of Portugal, dating back to the height of the Roman presence in the Iberian Peninsula (first century). In those times it was a fortified village, where lived representatives of Rome empire. Even today anyone can clearly see evidence of this people when visiting this estate, like the stone wall surronding it and several stones houses with typical architectural features from that time. Owned by tha family of Vasco Faria for the last 3 centuries, the first winery was built here and only a few years ago moved to the Quinta do Xisto.
Quinta de Freixieiro, located in Guardizela (Guimarães), dates back to 1720, when we can find the first records of this estate, when was property of the Conevnto de Santa Clara de Amarante (old convent). In the beginning of the twentieth century was part of the Vasco Faria family through an ancestor who inherit this estate and since then the lands where dedicated to the production of vinho verde for over 1 century until today.
Quinta do Xisto, located in Requião (Vila Nova de Famalicão), is where our winery it’s placed and it’s the spot that gives the name to our vinho verde "Encosta do Xisto”. The grapes from another vineyards, that we own in this region, is brought to this estate where we make the vinification to small lots with high quality. So, we can say that our vinho verde born in a hill (Encosta) of the estate Quinta do Xisto, the spot where is located the winery, giving this way the brand name “Encosta do Xisto” to the wine.