The rather grandly, and beautifully, named Cooperativa Agricola Santo Isidro de Pegões was founded on land donated by beer tycoon José Rovisco Pais, in 1958. It lies in the Terras do Sado area of the Setúbal peninsula, not far from Lisbon.
Here the soils – called pliocenico de Pegões – are alluvial, made up of sand and silt deposited by the Tagus and Sado rivers that form estuaries and nature reserves on either side of the peninsula.
Today its 148 members farm 1,100 hectares of native grape varieties like touriga nacional, aragonês, trincadeira, castelão, fernão pires, verdelho, antão vaz, tamarez and arinto. Alongside them they have also planted better known international varieties like chardonnay, muscat, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon.
70% of production is red and 30% white, with spirits and sparkling wines also made. There has been heavy investment here to modernise the winery with the best new equipment and talented winemaker Jaime Quendera is certainly making the most of it.