Quinta do Piloto is heir of four generations of an historic family of Palmela. In the early twentieth century Humberto da Silva Cardoso, a visionary entrepreneur, bought three large estates and built Quinta do Piloto and Serra wineries. With nearly 1235 acres of vineyards, it was one of the largest vineyards in Europe, selling in bulk. His nephew, Humberto, educated in agronomy, nurtured the dream of bottling their wines. A dream his son Filipe Cardoso came to realize.
Quinta do Piloto’s production comes from a selection of the very best grapes from the family 500 acres of vineyards in unique old Palmela’s terroirs. Among these are 86 acres of old vines, with 40 to 70 years in age, from estates in Lau, Fernando Pó e Agualva with the traditional sandy soils, ideal for local varieties Castelão (Periquita) and Fernão Pires. Also noteworthy are 10 acres of Muscat in north facing clay limestone soils, allowing for unparalleled fresh and aromatic wines.
The Cardoso’s family wineries, with a capacity of 6 million litres, stand out because of the traditional wine making methods, using natural resources, minimizing energy costs and reducing the environmental impact. Quinta do Piloto’s winery uses natural light and thick walls to ensure a constant temperature. The whole process is powered by gravity and this is one of the few wineries that retains Palmela’s traditional method with “auto-wine makers”, a 100% environmentally friendly method, that uses the natural energy of fermentation for pumping.