Vila Santa was João Portugal Ramos's first wine. The name means “Holy Village,” referring to the nearby ancient city of Estremoz where the famed Miracle of the Roses occurred. In the 13th century, Estremoz was ruled by King Diniz and his wife, Queen Isabel. Isabel was dedicated to helping the poor, but had to hide her generosity from her husband. One day, as Isabel was leaving the castle with an apron full of bread, Diniz appeared and asked to see what she was carrying. Isabel opened her apron, where the bread had miraculously been transformed into roses. Isabel continued her work free from suspicion and was canonized in 1625.
The Vila Santa red blend marries Aragonês, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. After harvest, part of the yield is foot trodden in marble troughs, known as lagares, and the remainder is fermented in stainless steel tanks following a long post-fermentation maceration. The blend is aged for nine months in French oak barrels.
Intense garnet color. Aromas of ripe black fruits blend beautifully with the spiciness imparted by the barrels. Elegant and full bodied with soft tannins. A big, powerful, and full wine.
Pairs well with hunting birds (pheasant, quail, partridge), roasted or grilled meat, cheese, and delicatessen (foie gras, pâté, prosciutto).