2019 Casal Figueira Vital “António” Branco, Vinho Regional de Lisboa, Portugal

The aromas and palate provide a bright lemon punch with crushed dried herbs, flint, oyster shell, and a subtle saline note. The wine really stays with you yet at the same time quenching your thirst, begging you to have another sip.



The António is produced from very old vineyards of the Vital grape variety (autochthonous) from the North Atlantic Coast of Lisboa. The oldest vines grow at altitude, on the north side of Montejunto Mountain, at 350 mt, where limestone soil, fresh climate and grape variety have been in perfect adequation for centuries. This grape variety was virtually unknown and underappreciated in 2008; its aleatory dense implantation on the limestone and proximity to the Atlantic coast provide wines with an exceptionally complex, fresh, and mineral character.The vines are grown in gobelet/vase shape, in non-mechanizable small plots aged between 70 and 100+ years old. All work on the vines is done manually by Marta and older generations from the local villages around the vineyards, who have a history of unparalleled knowledge of the Vital varietal due to their ancestral local agronomical practice.

The grape growing and vinification industries are attempting to resurrect old manual techniques; grapes are picked and transported in small boxes (no larger than 15 kg capacity), which are refrigerated during transport.The grapes are immediately emptied (manually) into a horizontal press vaslin and gently pressed (7–10 hours of pressing), allowing the grapes to keep their wholeness without smashing and allowing the extraction of the most qualitative juice. After 12 hours of settling with temperature control, the juice is put into old French oak barrels where it starts fermenting spontaneously, with its indigenous yeast naturally present on the grapes. The wine ages for 8–10 months on its fine lees, with some bâtonnage. A light filtration during bottling. No chemical corrections whatsoever. Very low levels of sulfites are present.


Marta Soares, of Casal Figueira (VR Lisboa outside of Lisbon), is a winemaker and spirit of incomparable strength and resilience. Following the sudden death of her husband, Antonio, in 2010, Marta took the reins of their winery as the harvest was coming into the winery from the vineyards. With no formal enological training, and as a matter of necessity with two young children and no other source of income, Marta taught herself (with the help of some neighbors) to make wine. Now she sees herself as a medium through which her husband can speak from the beyond – and as such, takes a completely minimal interventionist approach to her winemaking. Before founding their winery, Marta and Antonio scouted the Serra de Montejunto on foot in search of their vineyards, eventually befriending the locals who showed them four hidden limestone plots planted with 50–100 year-old semi-abandoned Vital vines. The climate, the soil, the vines, the view — they were all perfect here, and Casal Figueira was born. Marta’s wines today are a raw, unmitigated picture of the terroir of the hills outside Lisbon, and a testament to her devotion to her husband’s memory and the work he left behind.


Grape(s) Vital
Farming Biodynamic