The Lourenço family that owns this organically farmed estate also own the nearby Quinta dos Roques and Quinta do Correiro, and are considered by many to lead the way in winemaking in the Dão region in the heart of northern Portugal.
The family began making wine in the early 20th century, although at first it was just for personal consumption, but then in the 1980s they embarked on an ambitious project to produce high-quality wines on a larger scale. They began with Quinta dos Roques and Quinta do Correiro, but purchased Quinta das Maias in 1997, a move which made sense as the wines for this property had in fact been produced at Quinta dos Roques since 1992.
The vineyards span around 35 hectares, situated just over 40km from Quinta dos Roques in the foothills of the Serra da Estrella Mountains, meaning they're high up at 1500 to 1800 metres above sea level. The granitic soils here represent some of the best in the Dão region.
The vines are up to 30 years old and consist of native varieties: malvasia fina and verdelho dominate the white plantings and jaen (also known as tinta mencia), tinta roriz (better known as tempranillo) and touriga nacional make up the majority of the red grape varieties.
Quinta das Maias has the same vineyard and winery team as Quinta dos Roques - headed by current generation Luis Lourenço - and the estate is gradually being renovated. It now uses modern machinery - such as stainless-steel vats, which are used to vinify the white we buy - and some of the older equipment has been incorporated into an on-site museum for visitors to the property.
The quinta gets its name from the yellow May flowers which surround the vineyard and are also featured on the labels.