We use seven grape varieties at Rocaille Wine. These are blended to produce our four wine varieties.
The grape variety choices are:
Tinta Roriz – A variety that tends to be blended with other varieties (as we do at Rocaille Wine) and is typical in the Douro Valley region. It can make rich, lively red wines that combine elegance and robustness, copious berry fruit and spicy flavour. The vines are very vigorous and productive and adapt well to different climates and soils, although it prefers hot, dry climates on sandy or clay-limestone soils. The hot conditions and sandy soil that we have at the Quinta provides ideal growing conditions for this grape type.
Sousão – Known for it’s biting acidity and dark, opaque colour, this variety is typical of the Vinho Verde region. Unlike most red grapes where most of the colour comes from the skins, Sousão also has red flesh giving very red juice. This further darkens and intensifies in colour during the maceration process. We use a small percentage of Sousão in our Tinta Roriz + Sousão + Cabernet Sauvignon wine blend, which helps give a beautiful depth of colour and an additional flavour ‘twist’.
Cabernet Sauvignon – While this is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties, it is not typical for the Douro Valley. However, we have found at Rocaille Wine that it grows very well at our location. We use this as part of one of our red wine blends to give an added depth of character and interest to the wine. Cabernet Sauvignon has a high level of tannins, which helps provide structure and complexity. The most common aromatic and flavour components are plum, black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, warm spice, vanilla, black pepper and tobacco and can give a hint of leather aromas.
Syrah – This grape variety is not typical in Portugal. As with our Cabernet Sauvignon choice, we have found that Syrah grows very well in our vineyards. It provides a dense and full-bodied wine, heavy and powerful but still smooth and drinkable. The flavour characteristics are dark fruit, violets and notes of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, liquorice, chocolate, herbs, and olives.
Chardonnay – This has one of the widest ranging tasting and aromatic profiles of any grape variety. In its pure form, it provides a lean, minerally and dry wine with berries, fruit and citrus flavours. With light oak barrel ageing, these favours can be augmented with tones of vanilla, butter, caramelized sugar, coconut and praline.
Arinto – Typical to the Vinho Verde region, Arinto is a versatile grape and grown in most of Portugal’s wine regions. It makes vibrant wines with lively, refreshing acidity, often with a mineral quality, along with gentle flavours reminiscent of apple, lime and lemon.
Loureiro – This is one of the major grapes used in Vinho Verde region. The wines from this grape are bright and display aromas of peach, ripe citrus and white blossom. When blended with our Arinto variety, we get a fantastic fruity, citrus and floral wine. A very exciting experience for the nose and palate!