RISO and the Herdade do Vau
It would not be possible to remark RISO without mentioning the Herdade do Vau
A magic place...
In the municipality of Beja, parish of Quintos, located along the Guadiana river, the property took the name VAU due to being near a local river with shoals of rocks, which allowed locals to cross it on foot or on horseback. The lyrical translation of Vau is a ford, a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an bucolic bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when the water is low. It is an area with an extraordinary biodiversity. The modeling of the terrain, the presence, abundance, water, climate, favoring the spontaneous presence of aromatic, medicinal and culinary (pennyroyal, rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, thyme, wort, etc.) herbs. A diverse fauna, including some protected species, such as the little Bustard. It is worth mentioning the peace and serenity that this place offers any curious minds. Some even say that it is worth waking up to "hear the silence" !
A superb Terroir...
Let us first recall what is meant by TERROIR (often spoken...). Terroir from terre, "land" is the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with plant genetics, express in agricultural products such as wine. Revealing impartial options (the aforementioned human intervention) we made for the production of wines high quality: the grape selection: Alfrocheiro , Syrah ; Touriga Nacional and Sousão (first time it was planted in Alentejo), the latter for its various qualities, but especially the aport of acidity that gives lots of wines that characteristic. A planting density is 4,000 vines / ha, according to a width of 2.5 m with a spacing between vines of 1m. A way driving is a double Guyot arranging to vegetation according to an ascending vertical wall allowing a relationship between exposed leaf surface / weight production per vine, adequate to obtain grapes for production of top quality wines.
Much more than a wine ...
When we chose the RISO name for the wine we wanted to go further than just choosing a brand, we wanted to proclaim an attitude! A way of life! Positive, cheerful, nonconformist, sharing and sense of time... LAUGHTER that comes from the true joy in life today is profoundly beneficial and long term asset, as it gives us the confidence that allows us to take steps forward, overcoming out limites. We are true believers of the conventional wisdom which holds that "laughter is the best medicine even" apparently, for all illnesses!
We placed the family name, with all the responsibility that entails, due to the fact that we want to "give face" to our wine. It is not a more or less abstract entity, but instead it is about the people!
Individuals too, who dreamed the project are people who devised the style of wine, are caretakers of the vineyard, harvesting the grapes that make the wine, are the people who created the image and finally, are the drinkers and, share their experience! All these are after all the Friends!
Revelation Producer of the Year
On February 14th, 2014, the Revista de Vinhos organized, as it has done in recent years, an event which distinguished and nominated the best of the year in the wine sector. Among the 19 categories, RISO and more precisely, Miguel de Sousa Otto was named Breakthrough Producer of the year 2013.
"Não falta ambição e ousadia a este fascinante projecto liderado por Miguel de Sousa Otto no Baixo Alentejo" (in Revista de Vinhos - Fev 2014). The last sentence does not only defines the all concept of the project we have been doing with RISO at Herdade do Vau, but also justifies the award of Revelation Producer of the Year.