Among the many stories about superior quality Portuguese brands, many stand out for their endless number of idiosyncrasies and peculiarities. Some brands carry more past than others, more curious stories, a little more luck and chance, more or less award-winning wines, an extra dose of passion notes and even scents of inspiring adventures. Episodes starring romantic and reckless ancestors, as anyone who dared to be different in times long gone seems to us. We imagine all this because, as a rule, the most prestigious Portuguese wine brands share and accompany the formation and growth of a family, of a clan, all born – vineyards and people – from the same land, sharing the same house that has sheltered everyone over the centuries. Walls that heard the celebrations of a good harvest and the fears of the storm. We invented all this because within the difficult and complex world of agriculture, vine growing is the production that most suggests nobility and complexity and that, for the lay person, appears to imply greater understanding of Nature, but also greater scientific knowledge, greater mastery over the elements, greater intuition and even, we suppose, secrets that go back centuries on the calendar.
And the Oscar for best argument goes to…
Among so many scripts that most national wine brands would allow, the Melo family undoubtedly stands out, particularly the most recent heiress to take over the family business: Julia Kemper. For dramatic effects we could start in the past, using artistic flashbacks, visiting any of the centuries when the family dedicated itself to the production of wine. The story, however, would always have to focus on the unexpected Julia Kemper, whose name today is on some of the wines that stand out the most, both nationally and worldwide, among current Portuguese wine brands.
All of the following provide body and support to the script: the characteristics of the vineyard, the quality of the terroirs, the ancestral knowledge of the land, grapes and production methods, the visible respect for ecosystems and their people who have always been dedicated to vineyards and wine, the love of Dão, whose climate makes everything possible, and the commitment to sustainable and ecological production, without forgetting to mention the quality of the grape varieties and wines, protagonists known from podiums around the world. However, the inspiration all comes from the main character: Julia Kemper. A cosmopolitan, city-dwelling and urbane woman, who traded her attorney’s gown for the pleasure of treading the grape and creating wines on her ancestors’ farm, ultimately accessing her father’s appeal, who elected her as his faithful successor. Not bad as a synopsis, right? The ending is not yet known, but for now the ingredients of the plot – good soil, dedication and success – are proof of the many wines Julia has developed in her own name, and that have entered directly into the list of the most awarded and successful.
One factor to be explored would clearly be the philosophy of the whole project since Julia took it on, based on natural, organic and biodynamic agriculture. The plot would also take advantage of one of the secrets of Quinta do Cruzeiro, the importance of the family cellar in the success of Julia Kemper wines – a menu already with 13 labels that includes red, white and rosé wine. The cellar, a building of solid stone, has witnessed efforts, methods and resourcefulness, and was remodeled in 1950, exactly a century after its birth. Gravitational discharge, granite mills and cement vats, where each grape variety finds its place, which will soon have the services of an ancestral lagareta, an unexpected discovery at Quinta do Dão, where Julia inevitably spends much of her time, all these are topics to be explored. From all of this, a serious and daring project was developed and from all of this Julia Kemper wines are born, an unmistakable brand in the universe of Portuguese wine brands.
We don’t know yet if the story will reach Hollywood, but we already know that it has the potential for that. There will be no shortage of screenwriters. Anyone?