Lawyer and Winemaker, Julia Kemper offershighly regarded wines from Portugal. Of her demanding dual career, Kemper says: “a walk through my vineyards when the sun is shining compensates for the efforts it takes to simultaneously run a farm and a law office.”
Jancis robinson, the British Wine Critic Extraordinarie said Kemper wines show "impressive confidence." And of the Julia Kemper Branco 2013 we offer, Jancis said: Made from a blend of Encruzado and Malvasia Fina. “I loved its hint of leafiness, its very firm structure, its smoky but not exaggerated pungency and its real weight in the mouth. It tastes as though it just avoids being oily and heavy but is an admirably interesting and satisfying mouthful.”
THE WINE: Vinho Branco (white) 2013 is an organic blend of 50% Malvasia Fina and 50% Encruzado. The farm follows sustainable practices. A deep yellow color in the glass, the wine is ripe with a touch of orange peel. Soft and rolling on the palate, perfect with fish. If you have never tried a Portuguese white wine, THIS is the place to start. And if you know Portuguese white wines, you will not be disappointed. Limited distribution in this area.
ABOUT THE WINERY: To produce a high quality wine implies an extensive knowledge, work and constant learning, and it implies above all, dedication and a tremendous passion. This passion has been on our family – Melo Kemper for more than 400 years and their values were passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, we have adopted organic farming, hence, like our forefathers, we believe in the respect for Earth and biodiversity.
We believe in the balance between nature and we do not want to interfere in it.
THE FAMILY: We are the new generation of a traditional Portuguese family that has always nourished a great passion for Dão – our origin.
It was hundreds of years ago that the Melo Family first laid eyes on Terras de Azurara and, thus, the Dão’s terroir was found – the plateau where Julia Kemper’s vineyards grow.
Over time there were parcels of land – some vineyards – that left the sphere of the family but like a boomerang, they returned, and today, a part is in the hands of Julia de Melo Kemper.
Over the centuries the Melo Family always treated their vineyards with the love of the farmer who knows how to be a part of a magnificent and blessed terroir.
Like the good father, the Melo farmer always cherished his vineyard and gave them the best of his life, and over the generations – transmitting knowledge of tested flavors – a wine has been consolidating: the precious liquid that one day Julia de Melo Kemper decided to present to the world.
In 2000, Julia de Melo Kemper, a lawyer by profession, in Lisbon, was named by her father, also a Melo, António Melo, to continue the legacy of the Melo family in DÃO. And so it was in DÃO, in Quinta do Cruzeiro, Viseu, that Julia Kemper also became a farmer.
In the words of Julia herself: “do not look at the Julia Kemper vineyards as the luck of a heiress. I refused the inheritance for several years!”
But one day Julia Melo Kemper accepted the challenge… and in 2003 (in the words of Julia herself) “I began one of the most beautiful experiences that I think we can have; perhaps because at the end, we humans, are only recently urban and getting in direct contact with the laws of nature awakens something that we were unaware before”. In my case, she continues, “opting for organic farming – it has not go through my mind not to treat the earth as my family did before me – intensified this experience of nature. My vineyards became meadows where all life operates, to help me produce the best and healthiest grapes to make wine.”
The “demands” of Julia: The wine should be sold!
THE PHILOSOPHY: Her ancestors made wine for domestic consumption only. At that time, domestic consumption covered a “scandalous” number (for the current size) of family members.”In my family, between cousins and uncles, we were over 1000. And then there were also friends, customers. To all these people were distributed every year, dozens of bottles each.”
My ancestors enjoyed participating with their wines in competitions, including international (known is the participation in Berlin in the early 1900s where the wine won a gold medal). And the oldest participation traceable in paper was in Lisbon in 1885.
Since the first vintage, 2008, Julia Kemper wines have collected many awards, namely, being chosen amongst the Top 50 Portuguese wines for several years, receiving very honorable distinctions, testimonials and important ratings, throughout the world! The wines are sold around the world since 2010.
And this is the story of the first Dão wine brand in the Melo Family – Julia Kemper wines
Our mission is to incentive the passion for Dão wines throughout the World in a way that is both differentiating and innovative and in perfect harmony with nature.
We aim to make known the nobility, elegance and character of a wine that is still hidden by grand mountains.
Produce a high quality wine implies an extensive knowledge, work and constant learning, and it implies above all, dedication and a tremendous passion.
This passion has been on our family – Melo Kemper for more than 400 years and their values were passed down from generation to generation.
Therefore, we have adopted organic farming, hence, like our forefathers, we believe in the respect for Earth and biodiversity. We believe in the balance in nature and we want to participate in it.
All this in order to produce a Boutique wine, elegant, with a delightful acidity, floral aromas and an amazing texture, that only the ancestral wisdom of a brand like JULIA KEMPER may achieve.
THE VINEYARDS: The vineyards at Quinta do Cruzeiro are delicately treated in conformity with sustainable agricultural practices; organic farming consistent with our values and the heritage from past generations, since the preliminary analysis of the land confirmed that it was free from contamination, which indicated that there has always been a concern to preserve what nature gave us.
It all started with the research of the legislation, techniques and technologies associated with the Biological Production Mode (BPM), and with the help of Vines & Wines an exhaustive study of the soils and climates of Quinta do Cruzeiro was made in order to adjust the grape varieties and rootstocks to the existing lands. The various fields were mapped and the corrections and deep fertilizations of the existing 15 hectares were initiated. It was decided that the vine population would be based on the Dão grape varieties, as follows: Touriga-Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta-Roriz and Jaen, for red wines, and Encruzado, Malvasia-Fina and Verdelho for white wines.
The richness of Quinta do Cruzeiro, with several terroirs, includes six portions of land always surrounded by bush and pine trees. In the outskirts of the vines, olive trees are planted. All of this in a plateau with 700 meters high, sheltered from the wind by four majestic mountains – Serra da Estrela, Serra do Caramulo, Serra do Buçaco and Serra da Nave. It is a true ecosystem of biodiversity, slightly domesticated, managing to temper the indomitable Dão with a sheen of elegance!