Fitapreta is the culmination of a partnership between a young, dynamic Portuguese winemaker and a British-born viticulturist, dedicated to a new examination of terroir in the Alentejo. The winemaker Antonio Macanita returned home to his native Portugal after winemaking stints in Napa, Australia and France, most notably Ch. Lynch Bages. David Booth, the viticulturist, was already well established in Portugal when they began work together in 2004. Fitapreta operates on the Portuguese idea of “Palpite” or intuition when it comes to their viticulture and winemaking. With this trust of the land and the natural growth process of the vineyard, Antonio Macanita is able to make wines that are imbued with a singular sense of place. This winery operates on a strictly gravity-fed basis to avoid any harsh treatment of the must. All wines are spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts. Small parcels of each vineyard are fermented separately to preserve distinct stylistic qualities. These are then blended to achieve a layered, complete picture of the terroir.
The Alentejo is a large region in southeastern central Portugal, which is one of the agricultural centers of the country. The climate is Atlantic-Mediterranean, with significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature differences. This temperature range produces fruit with a natural combination of maturity and freshness. The Alentejo sees 3,000 hours of annual sunshine and 600mm of annual rainfall, less than 15% of which falls during the growing season. These vineyards are planted to rocky schist at 300-400m elevation.