This Portuguese Cooperative was founded in1949 in Pico Island, the second largest in the Azores archipelago, by the efforts of wine producers trying to recover the noble grape varieties and the culture of the vineyard – today classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 250 associates dedicated to the secular art of producing the vineyard and grapes deliver their best grapes every year to produce the most varied wines. The grapes are hand-picked from the rocky vineyards, preserving the authentic culture that used simple and fragile basalt stone walls to protect the vineyard from the adverse weather conditions in this Portuguese Island.
The island of Pico has produced wine since the 15th century, when the island was first settled. Wine producers used basalt to create thousands of dry stone-walled plots called “currais”, which expose the vines to the sun but protect them from the wind and seawater. A vast grid of “currais” covers more than 2,000 acres of land on Pico’s western coast. Thanks to the volcanic soil, rich in nutrients, the dry, warm microclimate of slopes protected from the wind by the walls of rough, dark stone, heated by the sun, the Verdelho variety vines have exceptional ripening conditions here. During the 17th century, the wine was exported to many countries in Europe and America, and even arrived at the table of the Russian Tsars. Pico wine was so famous that it reached the great European houses, including and the popes. The vineyards that dot the landscape of the island, still produce a crisp, fruity, dry and mild wine.
There are currently three noble indigenous varieties: “Arinto”, “Verdelho”, and “Terrantez”. The cooperative produces 4 types of white wine, 4 types of red wine, 3 types of liqueur wine, 1 type of sparkling wine and 1 type of rosé.
The largest and oldest wine producer in the Azores continues to preserve the way its ancestors made the wine. There is a culture of respect for history and traditions combined with the new knowledge and technology.
The cooperative is keen to find distributors in EU and non-EU countries in order to expand its business abroad.