Hamilton Reis’ exciting wines | Salt of Portugal

Thrilling activities, such as conquering huge waves in the ocean, fascinate enthusiasts with their exciting rush of energy. The family wine endeavor of Hamilton Reis, known as Natus, offers a similar kind of exhilaration. The production methods are natural; the grapevines are not artificially watered; fermentation occurs naturally with wild yeast, initially in ancient clay vessels used by the Romans and then in aged oak barrels. The grapes are handpicked and gently pressed by foot. Advanced winemaking techniques are put aside to create wines with minimal interference but with meticulous care. Similar to a skilled surfer, Hamilton is able to take these daring steps due to his vast experience and profound knowledge.

The term “Natus” signifies “born” in Latin. Hamilton selected this name to demonstrate that he and his family established this venture from scratch. In 2008, they acquired four hectares of land in Vidigueira, Alentejo. Over the span of a decade, Hamilton nurtured the soil to restore it from years of chemical damage caused by herbicides and insecticides. During this period, he familiarized himself with the region’s climate and grape varieties while conversing with local elders about the traditional winemaking practices. These practices, for Hamilton, form an integral part of the terroir just like everything else.

An abode was constructed in the midst of the vineyard for his family, allowing him to care for the grapevines as if they were relatives. The wine cellar is hidden underground to utilize gravity for unloading the grapes.

An important feature of the location is the absence of obstructions between the land and the sea. The Mendro mountain, positioned east of the estate, acts as a shield preserving the cool breeze from the sea. This environment gives rise to refined wines that are low in alcohol yet possess richness in complexity, depth, and freshness.

These distinct wines are not easily accessible as only around 6,000 bottles are produced annually. Hamilton is resolute in not increasing production to a level that would jeopardize his ability to oversee every aspect of the process. To satisfy the demand for his wines, he has introduced a new project called Intus, the Latin term for “inside.” This collection is crafted from grapes sourced from a select group of farmers who do not irrigate their grapevines and agree to embrace the demanding biodynamic practices that Hamilton supports. Similar to Natus, Intus wines are defined by their low extraction and alcohol content. Nonetheless, they undergo fermentation in stainless steel, preserving the unadulterated essence of the fruit.

The Natus label holds a secret. Those who uncover it gain a peek into Hamilton’s daily view: grapevines producing wines crafted without concessions, perfectly harmonized with nature.

The Natus vineyards are located at Estrada da Cancelinha in Vidigueira, Alentejo. Visit the official Natus website for more details.

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Asraful Shohag

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