Nestled in the winegrowing region of Tejo, the Cartaxo sub-region compromises all the municipalities of Cartaxo and Azambuja. The area occupied by Adega is larger, however, extending into the neighbouring parishes of Rio Maior and Santarém.
Adega Cooperativa do Cartaxo has 216 partners and 616 hectares of vineyards, of which 244 are DOC (controlled designation of origin) and 370 are IGP (protected designation of origin).
In recent years, Adega Cooperativa do Cartaxo has been encouraging its partners to change their viticultural heritage by means of new plantings and replantings to introduce new vine varieties with greater wine-making potential.
The predominant red vine varieties include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Castelão, Trincadeira, Syrah, Alicante Bouschet and others such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The predominant white vine varieties are Fernão Pires, Tália and Boal de Alicante. More recently introduced varieties include Alvarinho, Verdelho, Arinto, Moscatel Graúdo, Sauvignon Blanc and Viosinho.
The area occupied by Adega includes all the municipalities of Cartaxo and Azambuja as well as the neighbouring parishes of Rio Maior and Santarém.
The sub-region is divided into two areas, the bairro area and the campo area. The former can also be subdivided into two sub-areas whose different characteristics cause the grapes to ripen at different times.
The former is home to different weather conditions and a greater diversity of soils, namely, sandy soils that are predominantly chalky, clayey, clay limestone and reddish brown. These soils are less fertile and are mainly used to grow red vine varieties.
Where the relief is concerned, the bairro area contains land that is less steep with good sun exposure. For this reason, vines planted there ripen earlier.
The other bairro sub-area is characterised by slopes that are sometimes quite steep and shallow valleys where the grapes ripen later on occasion. This sub-area also produces extremely fruity and intense wines with good colour intensity and high alcohol content.
In the campo area, which is also known as Lezíria, white vine varieties predominate along with some reds that are used to produce rosés.
The soils are alluvial, fertile and therefore more productive, giving rise to fresh, fruity wines.
In recent years, Adega do Cartaxo has encouraged the production, certification and appreciation of wine varieties of greater oenological value through a rigorous system of grape and plot classification whereby points are awarded for certain factors related to the soil, climate and culture. This system allows the production of a certain type of wine to be associated with each plot.
Adega do Cartaxo uses a system for tracking all of our partners’ vineyard plots. Known as SIG (geographical information system), this system provides us with up-to-date, detailed information on our partners’ vineyard registers.
In recent years, Adega do Cartaxo has been improving its facilities by installing new technology and wine-making equipment to produce premium wines.
It possesses a wine-making capacity of 7.5 million kilos of red grapes and 2.5 million kilos of white grapes across the harvest.