José Maria da Fonseca – A 19th Century Manor House
When you visit the house where José Maria da Fonseca was founded in 1834, you’ll get to know the essence of a Wine Family with almost 200 years of history where the values passed down from generation to generation are kept alive while allowing the company to project itself into the 21st century. The visit to the Museum House begins with a brief explanation of the company’s history, followed by a tour of the ancient wine cellars: Adega da Mata and Adega dos Teares Novos, where wines such as Periquita mature, and Adega dos Teares Velhos, where the oldest Setúbal Muscatels rest, some of which are true relics over 100 years old. At the end of the tour, the visitor can sample some of the wines produced by José Maria da Fonseca.
And because a visit to a wine producer with the size and history of José Maria da Fonseca would never be complete without a genuine tasting of the best of what has been produced here for almost two centuries, at the end of the tour, each visitor will have the chance to get to know better some of the wines that make José Maria da Fonseca the prestigious institution it is today, through a very special tasting. So don’t miss the opportunity to live a truly sensory experience that is certain to linger in your memory.
When you visit our Wine Shop, you’ll be spoilt for choice for that special occasion and you can complement the wine with regional gourmet products. Surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Setúbal Peninsula, José Maria da Fonseca is an ancient winery located in the medieval neighbourhood of Chiado. The winery is well-known for its Moscatel wine. With its particularly beautiful façade and gardens, it has always been associated with the image of José Maria da Fonseca.
The Passionate Story of Seven Generations
The estate José Maria da Fonseca has been crafting the ultimate wine production line since 1834. In 1923, a Swiss architect, Ernesto Korrodi, restored the winery, and until the 1970s, the company was owned by the Soares Franco family. In 1986, José Maria da Fonseca purchased the property and changed José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes to José Maria da Fonseca Manor House. It was a long-held dream of José Maria to produce Alentejo wines in an ancient winery. Today, the winery consists of 114 amphorae, a rare and old fermentation method. The underground cellar is equipped with old urns and two open presses. A few steps away, another winery exists, parallel to José Maria da Fonseca, where 44 stainless steel vats are placed.
More than 500 Grape Varieties are Grown and Managed with Passion
As the oldest producer of table wines, José Maria da Fonseca Winery owns 650 hectares of vineyards, where a large number of grape varieties are grown. It is still unknown, but the winemaking family actively cultivates nearly 500 varietals. Respecting biodiversity, the primary concern of the owners is the conservation of natural resources. Parts of the grapes are still picked manually, followed by soft pressing. The company produces high-end red, white, rose, and sparkling wines using these grapes, combined with dessert and fortified wines. José Maria da Fonseca’s portfolio comprises more than thirty brands of top quality wines from Portugal’s main winegrowing regions.