A story with over 150 years
The family history we know starts in the mid 19th century with our great-great-uncle Zé Videira, a wealthy sheep wool merchant from Santa Ovaia de Cima, Tondela. Uncle Zé Videira was married to D. Felicidade, whom the people believed was a saint. Among their many properties, the couple owned most of the quintas that are now ours. And, of course, wine was made in a floor-level house winery, as typical of the time. Since they had no children, they adopted a young nephew, our grandfather Manuel Rodrigues Cardoso Videira, born in 1880.
The House of Wool
The building that houses our winery was built in the 1880s by Uncle Zé Videira for the purpose of storing the wool used in his trade -- hence the building being known in the family as "house of wool." Later on, our grandfather built a winery on the ground floor, with granite tanks, as it was also usual at the time.
Grandfather Videira was married in 1920 to our grandmother Alzira, who was considerably younger than him. The period between 1920 and 1960 was marked by the expansion of the House Videira (as it was known in the area), not only in terms of family (they had four children) but also because of our grandfather's entrepreneurial spirit. Building on the trade of his uncle, sheep wool, he expanded the business into the production side, first with a manufacturing operation in Portodinho, and, starting in 1940, with the acquisition of another, more modern, manufacturing facility in Parada de Gonta.
In parallel, grandfather Videira, throughout his life, expanded the vineyards considerably, and started producing wine not just for family consumption, but also for bulk sale. The small winery in his house was decommissioned, and winemaking moved, first, to a building across the street, and, finally, to the new winery in the House of Wool. Many of our vineyards have large blocks of vines from this time, 1920-1960.
The 3rd Generation
After our grandfather's death, as well as his son Manuel's, our grandmother started having a frail health, and the estate was split among their three daughters in the mid 1970s. The middle daughter, Aurora, our mother, was already married with children - us two plus three more!During the 1980s, our father Armando Lopes, a lawyer, continued to maintain and expand the vineyards they inherited, and introduced many innovations to the process. For example, he bought a tractor and built the concrete tanks in the winery.He had plans to make and commercialize fine bottled wines. His untimely death in 1994 interrupted those plans.
After our father's passing, our mother, in her late 60s, took charge of the properties in Santa Ovaia de Cima, her birthplace. For over two decades, she preserved the model established by our father in the 1980s - making wine for family consumption as well as some bulk sales, but selling most of the grapes to one of the big wine producers in the region.
It's our turn now. We are plainly aware that these vineyards exist beyond us, and that we are just their current guardians. We want them to last another 100 years in a sustainable and balanced way! As to the wines, we took our father's project, modernized it, and, with the determination to make high-quality Dão wines, we took the plunge and here we are!