Casal Figueira was born from the passion of the late António Augusto Carvalho (1967-2009). Montpellier trained and an ebullient viticulturist, he discovered the grape Vital on the Serra de Montejunto and began a project to not only save this nearly extinct indigenous grape but become the only winemaker to make and bottle 100% Vital.
Marta met António while renting a studio space in the countryside north of Lisbon that was attached to his rented cellar. Marta, an artist at work in her studio, would often watch Antonió working by himself from early in the morning to late in the evening. From the care he gave to the vineyards to his work in the winery, she was amazed at his passion. Marta and Antonió married, and Marta soon became part of the small team of Casal Figueira.
Following the sudden death of Antonio in 2010, Marta took the reigns of their winery as the harvest was coming into the winery from the vineyards. With no formal enological training, and as a matter of necessity with two young children and no other source of income, Marta and taught herself (with the help of some neighbours) to make wine. Now, she sees herself as a medium through which her husband can speak from the beyond – and as such, takes a completely minimal interventionist approach to her winemaking. Her wines are a raw, unmitigated picture of the terroir of the hills outside Lisbon, and a testament to her devotion to her husband’s memory and the work he left behind.
About the Vineyards: Marta works with four hidden plots of autochthonous fruit that consist of vines that are 50-100 years old. The plots are named after their owners: Acacio, Cremilde, Humberto and Pedra. These vineyards were semi abandoned when António found them. Therefore it has been Casal Figueira’s mission to revive the vineyards. Marta works the vineyards but also buys the fruit. The vineyard owners simply won’t part with them.
The Atlantic defines the climate: temperate but humid, windy, and cooled by the sea. The 700 meter high Serra de Montejunto intensifies everything acting like a wall to the sea wind. Montejunto runs almost parallel to the coast. The 4 limestone plots are located on the north side, planted between 200 and 450 meters high, imparting the exceptional freshness and mineral character Casal Figueira wines show.