News story

July 2021

Alentejan Cartuxa brand joins the Mentzendorff Portfolio

We are pleased to announce that the Alentejan Cartuxa brand has joined the Mentzendorff portfolio. Cartuxa is one of the oldest wineries in Portugal and is steeped in history. Vineyards have been on the same Quinta de Valbom site in Évora since 1517, when the Jesuits came to the region to establish the second oldest university in Portugal. The name Cartuxa comes from the Cartuxa monastery that the Carthusians started to build in 1587 and finished in 1598. It was in 1871 that the Cartuxa monastery and the Valbom were rescued from ruin by the Eugénio de Almeida family.

Today, Cartuxa works across 1050 hectares of vineyards across four sites and is owned by the charitable foundation, Fundação Eugénio de Almeida. In 1963, Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida created the foundation, responsible for developing many important social and cultural organisations across the region, including the Évora University, hospitals, social housing and numerous welfare institutions.

The wines of Cartuxa are produced within the Alentejo sub-region of Évora and have long been legendary within Portugal. The iconic Pêra-Manca has a long pedigree that is intertwined with Portuguese history. Not only were the wines from the “Pêra-Manca region” first mentioned in a letter from Évora Town Council to King João II in 1488, but they were also aboard Pedro Álvares Cabral’s ship when he discovered Brazil in 1500. The Pêra-Manca brand was first patented in the 1870s, and the wines gathered international recognition when the reds won gold medals in Bordeaux soon after. Following many political changes in Portugal, the arrival of phylloxera and the death of the vineyard owner in 1920, the Pêra-Manca wines were not made again until 1990 when Cartuxa revived the Pêra-Manca label for its flagship wines. Today the wines celebrate native grape varieties and now have cult status within Portugal and around the world. Olive oil is also a major part of the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, and now farms an area of some 400ha.

Pedro Baptista, Vice-President of the Executive Board and winemaker of Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, comments, “We believe that Mentzendorff is the perfect partner for our vision to produce unique wines for UK wine lovers and for new consumers who want to discover and feel the spirit of the Alentejo-Évora region in a glass of wine.”

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