The name “CASTELEJA” was given by the archaeologist who discovered the ruins of a small castle on this land dating back to the Roman period. Archaeologists believe that the ancestral city of Lagos, called “Lacobriga” was born around this valley, with the sea coming much further inland very close to our property.
“MONTE” is a typical Portuguese farm with a house on top of a small hill and its surrounding lands.
Guillaume’s grandfather, born in Sagres, a man with an excellent reputation in the Lagos fishing industry, bought this farm in 1952.
His french father first introduced him to the magic of wine, showing Guillaume how to carefully serve wine and teaching him the major differences in wine styles. Later he realised the great potential of Portuguese wines and soon became passionate to discover the richness and complexity of the world of wine during his travels and studies.
Guillaume inherited the land, long since abandoned, from his Portuguese grandfather and began revitalising the property with the intention of making his own organic wines. He planted the first grapes in 2000 and in 2004 Monte da Casteleja produced its first wine.
We want to recreate the concept of “vin du producteur” using a combination of new technologies and ancestral artistry, such as feet treading, maceration with stems and ageing in wood vats.
One of the most important times at Monte da Casteleja is the grape harvest. It is the culmination of a year´s work, taking place over several days and creates wines for years to come. Despite the long days of intense work, concentration and quick decision making the harvest is accompanied by good human energy, entertainment, and festivity.
Since its inception in 1998 we have harvested the “old-fashioned way” with the manual labour of selection and cutting of the grapes, transport to the winery in boxes of 15 kg, followed by the treading of the best grapes at the end of day, as is still done in the best vineyards of the Douro.
There are long days loaded with songs and emotions that fill the hearts of those who participate.
And so, the harvest of Casteleja is beginning to get known, more and more poeple are interested in spending a day in the field, under a blazing August sun, between vines heavy with grapes and willful people and that makes our wine very rich and powerful from all the synergies.