Ever since the early part of the 19th Century, members of the Calem family have concentrated on trade with Brazil; they owned ships which mainly transported Wine to Brazil and brought wood to Portugal. Upon realizing that much of the wood was used in the barrel-making industry, António Alves Calem (born in 1829) founded a cooperage in a warehouse next to the D. Luís bridge in Vila Nova de Gaia.
In 1859 he made his son António Alves Calem a partner, and founded A.A. Calem & Filho, Lda. After starting to produce Port wine in the Douro, the company grew rapidly, and integrated Porto Wine, barrels and transportation to the important Brazilian market into its business. The purchase of Quinta da Foz and Quinta do Sagrado, both in the Pinhão area, occurred in the 19th Century.
His son António Calem junior developed the business even further. An important figure in Porto at the time, a federal deputy, President of the Commercial Association of Porto and President of the Misericórdia do Porto institution, he recovered a large part of his inheritance after it was confiscated during the Republic. Amongst his sons who were directors of the company were Joaquim Calem on the commercial and management side and José Joaquim Calem, responsible for the technical side. They went through a difficult period during the 2nd World War, but continued to develop their business, mainly in the national market.
The fourth generation was represented by Joaquim Manuel Calem, who was responsible for the Association of Port Wine Exporters at the time of the Revolution on 25th April 1974, having dealt with the issues facing the sector during this time. Having sold A.A. Calem & Filho, Lda in 1977, the family retained the Quintas in the Douro.
Now representing the fifth generation, José Maria Calem is developing the Douro DOC Wine business, whilst also ensuring the continuity of the 6th generation and maintaining the tradition of producing Porto Wine.
It has belonged to the Calem family (now in its 5th and 6th generations) for about 150 years, and before that was owned by the A.A. Calem & Filho, Lda. company. When it started, there were neither trains nor tanker-trucks, so it was designed to receive the Port wines produced at the Quinta and at the Region's other landholdings, and from there transport them via barge (known as Barco Rebelo, owned by the Monteiro de Bitetos family at Alpendurada), to the main warehouses on Diogo Leite Avenue in Vila Nova de Gaia.
The Quinta do Sagrado, located on the right bank of the Douro River, 500m from Pinhão in the heart of the Upper Douro, has 17 hectares of vines planted on terraces, recoVintage_NVerted in 1986 under the PDRITM (Tras-os-Montes Rural Development Programme). Notably, the 1986 one was the third in this line of financing from the World Bank.
On the Terraces, the varieties are planted in blocks and since the varieties planted during the 1980s were chiefly chosen with Port wine in mind, a system of grafting by budding has been used in order to adapt the vineyard to the production of Red wine. On the Terraces, some of the work is mechanized, namely earth-moving, pruning and phytosanitary measures.
All the harvesting is carried out manually, with a rigorous selection of the grapes which are immediately transported to the tanks in aerated 20kg boxes. In addition to the 17 hectares of vines, the Quinta also has an olive grove and orchards. The same principles of quality rather than quantity that are applied to the growing of grapes are used in the wine-making.
Alcoholic fermentation with temperature control, part of the malolactic fermentation and part ageing process in French Oak barriques.
Brilliant ruby red colour, high layer. Aromas of wild berries and a well-balanced good body.