Muxagat Vinhos started as a small garage winery in 2002 in the tiny village of Muxagata, owned by winemaker Mateus Nicolau de Almeida along with Eduardo Lopes. They quickly found success with their delightful, inventive wines and moved the following year to a winery in Meda. Abandoned during the revolution in 1974, the Meda winery’s sparkling granite walls and lagars make visitors feel as if they’ve stepped into a time capsule.
The first Muxagat harvest in 2002 produced 5000 bottles of red wine. In 2003, it produced 6000 bottles of white wine. The goal is to gradually increase quantities to 50,000 bottles a year while still producing top-quality wines from traditional Douro varietals.
Location of Vineyard
The vineyards are situated in the cooler, high-altitude Douro sub-region of the Douro Superior. The soil is schist and climate conditions result in very low, concentrated yields, around 2.2 tons per acre. The vineyard is planted in steep mountainside terraces overlooking the Douro River and famous Paleolithic Foz Côa cave engravings.
Muxagat wines are made from vines indigenous to Portugal with an average age of 40 years for the whites (mainly Rabigato) and 10 for the reds (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, and Tinto Cão).
The winemaking responsibilities belong to Mateus Nicolau de Almeida. Nicolau de Almeida has studied winemaking all over the world, and draws on his diverse background to create playful, expressive wines from his prized Douro vineyard. His reds are foot-trodden in granite lagars, a method that is traditional and gentle on the grapes; the wine is aged in French oak.
Mateus Nicolau de Almeida was born in Oporto to a traditional Port-making family. His grandfather was the Barca Velha creator and oenologist for Ferreira, and his father is oenologist and managing director of Ramos Pinto. He studied winemaking in Bordeaux under professor Dennis Dubourdieu, followed by training in Chile, Argentina and Spain. In Argentina, he worked closely with Michel Rolland in making the first vintage of Clos de los Siete. In 2002, he decided it was time to make his own wine, and founded Muxagat.