The Estate is located in Pedrogão, Vidigueira municipality, by the village of Marmelar, about 17 km east of Vidigueira. It is very close to the Alqueva reservoir, about 13 km directly.
It has an area of about 1,100 hectares, most of which is on the southern slope of the Serra do Mendro and consists of Mediterranean forest, with several species of native trees, particularly the Cork Tree, Oleaster, Holm Oak and Strawberry Tree. It is crossed by the Marmelar River, which, next to the winery of the Estate, has a dam that creates one of the 3 large water reserves for agricultural use in the Estate. The current main agricultural holdings are 43 hectares of vineyard and 210 hectares of olive grove, traditional, semi-intensive and intensive.
The Monte da Ribeira Estate was acquired in 1986 by the industrialist Victor Carmona e Costa who, in the following 15 years, not only completely reformed the estate, but also implemented the entire productive agricultural structure and wine cellar.
The Estate is owned by Casa Agrícola HMR SA, which is wholly owned by a foundation that bears the name of its two Founders, the Victor and Graça Carmona e Costa Foundation. The Foundation, with headquarters and facilities in Lisbon, is dedicated to supporting contemporary art in Portugal and Casa Agrícola HMR SA is one of its foundational assets.
The first vineyard of the Monte da Ribeira Estate was planted in 1989 and a winery was built alongside for wine production. The first harvest, of 1992, was marketed under the brand Vidigueira. Later the brands Pousio and Quatro Caminhos were added and, recently, the brand Marmelar.
In recent years the winery has been modernized and, for about 12 years now, the vineyard has been expanded and renovated, currently occupying 43 hectares. The white varieties, Albariño, Antão Vaz, Arinto, Roupeiro and Verdelho occupy a third of the total area of the vineyard. The current red varieties are Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Baga, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira, which occupy the remaining two thirds of the vineyard.
In harvest years when the production is plentiful, the Estate has managed to produce almost 400,000 bottles of wine, white, red and rosé. In 2018, its wines will be marketed under the brands "Quatro Caminhos", "Pousio Selection", "Pousio Escolha", "Pousio Reserva" and the premium red “Marmelar”, which, since the first
crop was put on the market (1992), have received several national and international prizes and accolades.
The main market of the Estate wines is the domestic market, but exports continue to increase, accounting for about 26% of total sales in 2017 in value.
The strategy of the Monte da Ribeira Estate wine business focuses on marketing and producing, in its own wine cellar, wines from grapes from the vineyards of the Estate, with ever-increasing quality. We do not aim to be market leaders, but we aim to produce the best Alentejo wines.
The Olive Oil
The Estate has always had dryland olive trees, present throughout the region. But it was with the construction of the dam and the two large water reservoirs in the Estate that Dr Victor Carmona e Costa, between 1989 and 2008, planted intensive and super-intensive olive groves that, together with the traditional olive grove, currently occupy 210 hectares of the property.
These olive groves are made up of olive trees of the following species: in the traditional olive grove the majority are Galician, Bico de Corvo and Verdeal; in the intensive olive groves the majority are Cobrançosa and some Picual and Cordovil; the super-intensive olive groves are all Arbequina. In the 2015/16 campaign, a very good year, the olive production of the Estate reached almost 1,000 tons.
In 2016, the Monte da Ribeira Estate began marketing olive oil produced with the olives from its olive groves, with the brands "Pousio" and "Pousio Premium". They are both extra virgin olive oils of great quality, with acidity below 0.3. The first is an oil made with Arbequina, Cobrançosa and Galega; the second, smoother and more balanced, is made with Arbequina, Cobrançosa and Picual.
They are on sale at the Casa Agrícola HMR SA online store, at large retailers, such as Continent and Supercor, and at several specialty stores.
The Board of Directors of Casa Agrícola HMR SA coincides with that of the Victor and Graça Carmona e Costa Foundation, composed of Maria da Graça Carmona e Costa, José Carmona e Costa and Álvaro Portela.
The olive oil business and the Agricultural Management of the Estate are the responsibility of Mariana Carmona e Costa.
The wine business is managed by António Nora, with Nuno Elias as Resident-Oenologist and Luis Duarte as Oenology Consultant. The marketing responsibilities of the wine are distributed by António Nora himself, in Large-Scale Distribution and the Algarve; by João Carmona e Costa, in Export-except Asia; Pedro Portela in the North, Centre and Islands and Export-Asia; and Frederico Monteiro in the South.