Our Philosophy

In the last 25 years, and with a lot of love and the greatest care we have established Quinta das Marias as an exclusive winery planted solely with indigenous grape varieties. Our wines reflect the elegance, profundity and finesse, which can only be found in the Dão thanks to its outstanding climate  and its extraordinary terroir. As a family business, we value uncompromising quality above all else. It is because of precisely this that we can compete for the preference of the most demanding wine lovers in the global market.

Peter and Elisabeth Eckert

The Quinta

The Story

In the 80s I managed the subsidiary of the Zurich Insurance Group in Portugal. During my frequent business trips throughout the country I grew very fond of the Dão region around Viseu. In 1991, my wife Elisabeth and I bought four hectares of abandoned land and a house, which resembled a ruin more than a habitable dwelling, in Oliveira do Conde. We called the farm «Quinta das Marias» as Elisabeth and our three daughters, Ester, Isabel and Julia, all have Maria as one of their names.

Firstly, we employed António Coelho Lopes as our caretaker, bought a tractor and planted two hectares of new vines. Thanks to the purchase of additional, bordering land we have since reached twelve hectares. It was important to us that we were not only investors: we wanted to work with our hands and create wine ourselves. With the aid of Eng.  António Narciso and hard work, I taught myself to become the «Winemaker» of Quinta das Marias.

Legal requirements oblige us to only use grapes of our own production. These grapes are looked after with the greatest care, from the first pruning in winter right up to the harvest. From the very start, there was a clear determination and obligation to only produce wines of the highest quality. We believe that they should represent the Dão’s typical elegance and therefore withstand  tough global competition.

We produced our first good wines in 1998. In 1999, Quinta das Marias already won a gold medal in the competition of the Dão DOC authority. The biggest highlight to date was the awarding of “Best Single-Variety Wine of the Year” for the Touriga-Nacional Reserva 2011 at the Portugal Wine Challenge – the most important wine competition in the country.

In 2012, the famous Portuguese wine journalist Rui Falcão wrote in the magazine «Fugas» about Quinta das Marias: «The story of the family Eckert shows eloquently how passion overrides reason, how a dream commands life and how love and passion can overcome all obstacles … In no time Quinta das Marias reached the top of the hierarchy of the Dão and serves as a great reference and role model in the region.»

The Facts

Founded 1991

Position Quinta das Marias lies embedded between Serra de Caramulo and Serra de Estrela in the heart of the Dão – Portugal’s oldest DOC region. (DOC = Denominação de Origem Conotrolada)

District Viseu, Municipality Carregal do Sal Freguesia Oliveira do Conde

Climate Ideal for the cultivation of premium wine: cool and rainy winters, dry summers with hot days and cool nights (with up to 20° difference in temperature).

Soil Deep granite soil. No irrigation.

Average Harvest White: 4,000l/hectares , Red: 3,500l/hectares

Size

0ha
Vineyards 12ha

Production

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Bottles

White Varieties

Encruzado 83%
Gouveio 8%
Sémillon 6%
Barcelo 3%

Red Varieties

Touriga Nacional 49%
Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) 31%
Alfrocheiro 10%
Jaen (Mencia) 9%

The People

Elisabeth and Peter Eckert, Owners

Elisabeth Eckert is responsible for the property of the Quinta. From the almost entirely dilapidated house she has created a rustic home for both the whole family, and the many guests and visitors. She accompanies Peter Eckert to countless fairs and tastings. During the Vindima she looks after the wellbeing of the helpers and she also lends a hand with bottling and labelling.

Peters Eckert is responsible for the production of our wines. His favourite time of the year is the Vindima – the harvest. But he also spends a lot of time in the wine cellar throughout the year. He loves manual labour such as pumping, filtering, arranging perfect blends and tasting. «This is completely different to my previous work in insurance. Back then, everything was abstract; today everything is clear and specific.»

Victor Lopes
Farm Manager

Victor joined Quinta das Marias in January 2013. Initially he worked in multiple roles, with a focus on logistics and administration. After the sudden death of his father António Coelho Lopes, who played a major part in the building up of Quinta das Marias from the very beginning in 2014, Victor had to follow in his father’s footsteps earlier than anticipated. Today, Victor Lopes represents Peter Eckert when absent, takes care of the distribution of work, personnel, logistics and a great part of the administration.

José Faria
Vineyard Manager

After the death of António Coelho Lopes, José Faria was given full responsibility over the vines, which he had been looking after since 2010. José had worked in a big agricultural business in France for over ten years and looked after many replantings in the Dão. He loves nature and fresh air – to him an office resembles a prison.

Ramiro Marques
Agricultural Employee

Ramiro Marques joined the Quinta das Marias team one year ago. He moved seamlessly from a Swiss farm in canton Bern to a Swiss-run farm in Portugal. He works closely with José Faria in looking after the vines and the fields. But just like every other member of the Quinta das Marias, he also joins in with other diverse work that has to be done, such as bottling, labelling and working in the cellar.

Eng. António Narciso
the oenological Conscience

Peter Eckert has worked with Eng. Narciso since 1998. He was Peter’s teacher during his learning phase in becoming a winemaker and is still the conscious and irreplaceable advisor when it comes to oenological questions.

Fátima Ventura
Part-time Employee

Fátima and Alexandra are two part-time employees who help José Faria with bigger or more pressing work in the vineyard and who are also of great assistance during the Vindima.

Alexandra Marques
Part-time Employee

Fátima and Alexandra are two part-time employees who help José Faria with bigger or more pressing work in the vineyard and who are also of great assistance during the Vindima.

Wines

Encruzado

Dão DOC, 2015

This wine produced from Portugal’s indigenous Encruzado grape has become a real testament to this country’s outstanding wine making heritage. It’s rich, deep and full of flavour with an impressive mid palate concentration. Fruity with discreet acidity – it’s a real pleasure to drink!

Grape Variety: Encruzado. Vines were planted between 1991 and 2006

Date of harvest: 10.9.2015

Wine Making: The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. The must is cooled down to 12°C with the help of dried ice (CO2). Skin contact during 12 hours. The must is then fermented in a stainless steel tank at 16°C.

Production: 18000 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: March of 2016

Analysis: Alc.: 13.5%Vol., Total Acidity: 4.89gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 1.4gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm Manager: Victor Lopes

Vineyard Manager: José Faria

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Factsheet PDF

Lote Branco

Dão DOC, 2015

In April of 2015 I was able to lease from my direct neighbour two hectares of vines planted with Sémillon, Gouveio (Verdelho) and Barcelo. In September 2015 we produced from these grapes a new white wine which we called Lote Branco.

Grape Varieties Sémillon 11%, Gouveio 34%, Barcelo 55%

Date of harvest 12.9.2015

Wine making The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. The must is cooled down to 12°C with the help of dried ice (CO2). After pressing, the must is then fermented in a stainless steel tank at 16°C.

Production 4400 bottles (75cl)

Bottling March 2016

Alcohol 13.5 % Vol.
Total acidity 5.43 g/L
L Saccharose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose 0.4 g/L

Responsible for this wine Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm manager Victor Lopes

Vineyard manager José Faria

Consulting Enologist Eng°. A. Narciso

Rosé

Dâo DOC, 2014

Our latest Rosé is a refreshingly fruity, crisp wine with precisely the right touch of summer sweetness. It’s the perfect choice for those hot days spent by the pool, and cool nights shared with friends around the dinner table. Capturing our continued passion for crafting truly memorable wines, its balanced flavor will delightfully linger in your thoughts long after summer has gone.

Grape Variety: Jaen, with some Encruzado. Jaen Vines planted in 1991.

Date of harvest: 30.9.2015

Wine Making: The Jaen grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. The must is cooled down to 12°C with the help of dried ice (CO2). Skin contact during 4 hours. The must is then fermented in a stainless steel tank at 16°C.

Production: 1466 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: March of 2016

Analysis: Alc.: 13%Vol., Total Acidity: 5.74gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 0.6gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm Manager: Victor Lopes

Vineyard Manager: José Faria

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Factsheet PDF

Lote

Dão DOC, 2014

A very typical, modern Dão Blend made from the traditional grape varieties Touriga-Nacional, Tinta-Roriz (Tempranillo), Alfrocheiro and a hint of Jaen. It has a fruity and floral aroma that harmonizes nicely with its well-balanced acidity. And with a well-structured body of smooth tannins, this contemporary blend is ideal for every day.

 

Grape Varieties: Touriga-Nacional, Tinta-Roriz, Alfrocheiro & Jaen. Vines planted between 1991 and 2003.

Date of harvest: 27.9.–3.10.2014

Wine Making: The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. Fermentation in traditional Granite Lagar and Ganimede Fermenters. Malolactic Fermentation and ageing in used French oak Barriques (2nd & 3rd year) during 12 months.

Production: 5000 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: May of 2016

Analysis: Alc.: 13%Vol., Total Acidity: 5.22gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 0.9gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm Manager: Victor Lopes

Vineyard Manager: José Faria

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Factsheet PDF

Alfrocheiro

Dão DOC, 2014

This is a very sought after specialty of our Quinta produced from the autochthonous Alfrocheiro grape. It has a mid-palate that’s aromatic and elegant with cherry and raspberry notes. With an earthy nuance and an acidity that combines with sweet fruit, this wine offers a succulent finish with some tannins that give it the right amount of support. This wine has often been compared to a Burgundy – however we think it’s better.

Grape Variety: 100% Alfrocheiro, Vines planted in 1991.

Date of harvest: 29.9.2014

Wine Making: The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. Fermentation in a traditional Fermenter. Malolactic Fermentation and ageing in French oak barriques (3rd use) during 12 months.

Production: 1800 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: March of 2016

Analysis: Alc.: 13%Vol., pH 3.88, Total Acidity: 5.37gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 0.9gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm Manager: Victor Lopes

Vineyard Manager: José Faria

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Factsheet PDF

Cuvée TT

Dão DOC, 2014

This well-matched modern blend of Touriga-Nacional and Tinta-Roriz (Tempranillo) was partially fermented in traditional granite lagars and then aged for 12 months in French oak barriques. It offers an intense and spicy aroma of junipers and wood-berries. With an excellent structure of vibrant acidity, balanced fruit and firm tannins, this wine is sure to please.

Grape Variety: Touriga-Nacional and Tinta-Roriz (Tempranillo). The vines are 18 years old.

Date of harvest: 5.–6.10.2014

Wine Making: The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. Fermentation in a traditional Fermenter. Malolactic Fermentation and ageing in French oak barriques (3rd use) during 12 months.

Production: 5600 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: March of 2016

Analysis: Alc.: 13.8%Vol., Total Acidity: 5.0gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 1.4gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm Manager: Victor Lopes

Vineyard Manager: José Faria

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Factsheet PDF

Touriga Nacional Reserva

Dão DOC, 2014

Our 2014 «Reserva Touriga-Nacional» is again a true reflection of what characterized our entire harvest—small quantities with superb quality. As a result, we were only able to produce 4’900 bottles. This is a very poweful wine with a great personality. With a wonderful fruit, good acidity, strong tannins, excellent volume and a long, seductive finish—this limited release is certainly a must for all Touriga-Nacional lovers.

Grape Variety: 100% Touriga-Nacional

Date of harvest: 5./6.10.2014

Wine Making: The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergohand selection, destemming and crushing. Fermentation in Ganimede Fermenters. Malolactic Fermentation and ageing in French oak barriques (30% new, 70% second use) during 12 months.

Production: 4900 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: May of 2016

Analysis: Alc.: 13,8%Vol., Total Acidity: 5.19gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 1.4gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm Manager: Victor Lopes

Vineyard Manager: José Faria

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Factsheet PDF

Garrafeira

Dão DOC, 2010

According to the Portuguese DOC-regulations, Garrafeira is the highest quality level, just after «Reserva», and has to fulfil especially strict standards. Approximately every five years we produce a Garrafeira with high quality grapes and small yields from the oldest vines of the Quinta das Marias. The wine matures to two thirds in new French 225 L barriques. The Garrafeira is a highly elegant, multifaceted wine with delicate tannins and balanced acidity – the perfect companion to a nice meal.

Grape Varieties: 80%Touriga-Nacional, 20% Tinta-Roriz (Tempranillo).

Date of harvest: 5.10.2010

Wine Making: The grapes are handpicked and immediately brought to the winery where they undergo hand selection, destemming and crushing. After 48 hours of cold maceration, we fermented both Grape varieties together in a Ganimede Fermenter. Malolactic Fermentation and ageing in French oak barriques during 11 months. 2/3 of the barriques are new, 1/3 used for one wine before.

Production: 4130 bottles of 75cl

Bottling: May of 2012

Analysis: Alc.: 14%Vol., Total Acidity: 4.45gr/L, Sacarose/D-Glucose/D-Fructose: 1.5gr./L

Responsible for this wine:

Owner & Wine Maker: Peter Viktor Eckert

Farm and Vineyard Manager: António Coelho Lopes

Consulting Enologist: Eng°. António Narciso

Mark Squires for Robert Parker: 92 Points

Factsheet PDF

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