The Quinta da Serradinha, located in Leiria, with approximately 5 hectares of vineyards planted - some since 1957 - is a good example of organic viticulture. It is not a conversion from conventional agriculture, but rather a deep-rooted and principled choice. It is currently under the leadership of António Marques da Cruz, who claims to be living "the utopia of wine."
The portfolio of Serradinha is not extensive: they produce four red wines, one rosé, and two white wines per year. The emphasis is on red wines, particularly Castelão and also Baga, the latter undergoing a much longer aging process that can last up to seven years before being ready to be bottled and sent to the market.
In the white wines, they produce two blends: one with Arinto and Fernão Pires, traditional grape varieties of the region, and another with Encruzado and Arinto. The rosé varies from year to year. Sometimes it is produced solely with Touriga Nacional, other times accompanied by Castelão, and in some harvests, exclusively with the latter grape variety.
According to the legend of Quinta da Serradinha, one day António, the second, was surrounded by a series of bottles when, out of nowhere, someone caused a wooden ladybug to land on top of one of the bottles. In this unpredictable yet premonitory manner, the trademark image of the bottles of Quinta da Serradinha was born.
In the winery, vinification is carried out without the addition of yeast or any other oenological products, and without temperature control. White grapes are destemmed and macerated for 2 to 5 days, with fermentation subsequently taking place together with the fine lees for 11 months, without batonnage. As for red grapes, maceration is longer, lasting from 6 to 15 days in large barrels and open lagares with foot treading. The period between fermentation and bottling can range from 1 to 2 years, and the aging in bottles can vary from 2 to 4 years. Antonio uses wooden casks and barrels for aging the wines, and clay amphorae for the rosé. The wines are not subjected to fining or filtration, and only minimal amounts of sulfur dioxide are used during bottling.
The viticultural tradition of the Marques da Cruz family is now in its fifth generation. It is a long-standing tradition, spanning many years and involving many people. They began in a small village near the center of Leiria. Then, in 1952, Antonio's grandfather planted the first vineyards in Serradinha, and in 1974, his father took the reins. Organic agriculture came shortly after. "In 1978, my father attended a fair in Montpellier and had his first contact with organic farming. From that point on, we started producing in that way, and in 1994, when regulations for organic farming were established in Portugal, we became certified and have remained so until today."