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The history of Mouchão
The fine, rolling landscape of Portugal’s Alentejo region, set between Lisbon and the Algarve, is dominated by cork forests and olive groves. In the early 19th century, Thomas Reynolds moved here from Oporto, chiefly to become involved in the cork business.
Three generations later, his grandson, John Reynolds, purchased a 900 hectare property with two small rivers running through it - Herdade do Mouchão. In addition to the family’s cork activities, he set about making wine. Vineyards were planted and in 1901 he built a high-ceilinged adobe winery (or “adega”) with white washed walls and a traditional red-tiled roof. A distillery was added to the winery in 1929, where until today Mouchão's pommace brandy is produced.
During the 1950’s. While the estate continued to produce cork, olives, cereals and to rear pigs and sheep (much as it does today), the wine business began to expand. More vines were planted, the winemaking improved and bottled sales began, replacing the old tradition of wine made purely for bulk sale to local towns and villages.
Following the 1974 revolution, the estate was expropriated and only returned to the family in 1985. Today, the Herdade do Mouchão continues to be run by the descendants of the original family whose cellar and vineyard workers have been with them for generations. The process is, as it always has been, unhurried. The grape varieties are local, picked by hand and foot-trodden.
In the ever-changing world of winemaking, Herdade do Mouchão, remains a traditional, family-run winery.