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When Bernardim Ribeiro (1482-1552), one of the most relevant Portuguese writers, native of the Alentejo (historical region of Portugal), coined the term Saudade, in the subtitle of his novel Menina e moça (“Little and young”), times were still far away before a group of 20th century intellectuals judged this sentiment as the most representative manifestation of Portuguese culture. Yet, from the time of Ribeiro onwards that attitude dwells not only in the best pages of Lusitanian literature, from Saramago to Pessoa, to name two of the best-known personalities, but also in the experience of every Portuguese.
The Saudade elegantly emerges in the winemaking project of Pedro and Rui Patrício, like that thread that links past and present, laying solid foundations for the future.
Young Portuguese brand Já Te Disse (Already Told You) is the story of a family, told through wine. A narration that refers to the memory of the grandfather of the founders of the cellar, passionate about the countryside and hunting, always accompanied on his excursions by his dogs, including a mestizo to which he was particularly attached.
When grandfather Ramiro showed up at home for the first time with the mixed-breed dog, he asked Pedro and Rui’s mother what name she preferred for the dog. She replied: “Já te disse” (“I already told you”). This became the name of the beloved dog who gladdened the life of the family but also of friends. A “non-name” name which, of course, led to misunderstandings when someone asked what the dog’s name was. “I already told you” was the reply. “But you already said what? people replied.
Decades later, family memories become part of that Saudade, of nostalgia for what has been but which can be revived in the present through planning. In the case of Pedro and Rui it is the dream come true: the creation of the boutique winery Já Te Disse, born in 2015. Not just a company but a family treasure chest where the quality seal is the distinctive trait of the wines which fully express the Portuguese tradition.
Pedro studied in Burgundy to lay the foundations of a professionalism that today makes the company one of the flagships of Portuguese production. Together with his brother they choose a farm in the Alentejo, in Estremoz to carry out the project: the construction of a small vineyard, in the heart of a region with a high wine and olive-growing vocation, where to produce high quality wine.
Known for great Portuguese wines, Estremoz has a unique terroir and microclimate. The summer is very hot, with temperatures that can even reach 45º, and the winter is equally cold, even -5º. An ideal condition for the ripening of the grapes.
Estremoz is worth a visit not only to discover its wine-growing area and excellence as Já Te disse but also for its history and cultural offerings. Estremoz is the city of marble, a precious marble, used everywhere in the area. An ancient village, surrounded by a generous nature, expanses of vineyards, castles built in the Middle Ages, among which the Tower of the Three Crowns stands out and an important food and wine offer.
Siza, an excellent storyteller, has transferred the story of her grandfather and his trusty dog, subjects in the labels of the various types of wine, into images. The past becomes present through memory transposed into an image. Each bottle of wine is manually numbered and labeled, confirming the attention paid to the care of each individual package.
The wines, launched in 2021, have been recognized and awarded at national and international level. Several medals with gold included, in Brussels, London, Paris and Portugal in 2022 and 2023. Recently, the red wine Já Te Disse Alicante Bouschet Special Edition was awarded the Grand Gold medal at the Brussels World Competition – one of the most recent confirmations of the dedication with which Pedro and Rui are carrying forward their micro-project. Furthermore, the company’s wines have also been selected by some of the best starred Portuguese restaurants.
A success that starts from the micro-production vineyards of just one hectare, surrounded by centuries-old trees, the Azinheiras, a protected species in Portugal. The soil type is clayey-xistos. A large schist rock has made room to allow the planting of the vineyard. The vineyard is planted with a SE-NW solar orientation, with an altitude of 300 meters and a slope of 44º.
Pedro and Rui have entrusted the oenological part to Joachim Roque, Luso-French, responsible for all the viticulture and the production of the JÁ TE DISSE wine. Graduated in viticulture and oenology in Bordeaux, France, after having gained extensive international experience (Bordeaux, Côtes du Rhônes, Napa Valley, Alentejo, among others), Joachim Roque understood the potential of the terroir and the vines, contributing, with the his job, to transform a small plot of land into a success story.
“Less is More” defines this micro project, where every detail makes the difference and where quality takes priority over quantity,” says Pedro Patrício. He divides his time between his activities as a producer and hospital director. Pedro Patrício is also, since April 2023, President of a football club – União de Santarém.
Everything is special in this project, as Pedro explains: “Before the harvest, about 6 weeks before, 50% of the grapes are cut to the ground. Though painful to watch, it’s the way our winemaker found to keep the best grapes on the vine until perfectly ripe for the harvest.
The analyzes are carried out daily in the month of August – says Pedro – vine by vine. The harvests take place at three different times (in 2022, there were even four). This is because the stages of perfect ripening between the varieties are very different: Petit Verdot, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet.
Another very particular detail- he says- is that all the harvests are carried out at night, usually around 4 in the morning, so that the grapes can enter the cellar still fresh and begin the fermentation process in the ideal phase.
The whole collection process is exciting for me. I have enormous respect for those who work in the vineyard and in the cellar on freezing and scorching days”.
On the other hand, because I have seen the whole process of this wine and I have witnessed the careful selection vine by vine and the yearly check vine by vine”.
Já Te Disse also produces the following wines:
Já Te Disse Alicante Bouchet Special Edition Selection of the best new French oak barrels, made in a special edition of 3,200 numbered bottles. Alicante Bouschet (100%).
Já Te Disse White Wine Viognier (100%).
Já Te Disse Rosé Wine Aragonez (40%) Touriga Nacional (30%) Syrah (30%).
The company has a strong social presence with donations to support international causes. On the sustainability front it is equally active, committing itself to the reduction of carbon dioxide in the packaging and in the weight of the bottle. Small but powerful distinctive signs for a boutique winery whose wines are remembered.
The history of Já Te Disse is all to be written and tasted. A family story that has the colors of the generous Alentejo land and the flavors of a magical vineyard where love and knowledge are the key to a success built day by day.