Soalheiro started in a vineyard in 1974. A few years later, winemaking equipment replaced the family’s red Ford Escort in the garage and the first labels with the name Soalheiro appeared. It all started in that vineyard with one family, but now it has become a family of families: our team. It was a passion for vines and wines that brought us together, and it is the respect for our Territory that moves us.
António Luís, better known as Luís Cerdeira, was born in Melgaço into the world of vines and wines. With a profound knowledge of Alvarinho, at the beginning of his professional career he was responsible for the Oenology Laboratory and a Wine Tasting Chamber for more than 20 years. He also taught oenology and wine marketing at a higher education institution, instilling in him the passion to always be learning. He fosters this spirit of permanent growth in Soalheiro’s management and oenology. Luís is the full-time manager and winemaker at Soalheiro, a role he performs with a lot of focus and passion. Famous for his spontaneous smile, he knows Soalheiro like nobody else.
He was two when his father, with the help of his grandparents, planted the first continuous Alvarinho vineyard in Melgaço in 1974. Son of the founders, his deep attachment to viticulture steered him to the Oenology course at UTAD (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro), from which he graduated in 1994. After many years by his father’s side, and a traineeship in Burgundy, it was that year that he completed his first harvest as winemaker at Soalheiro. His desire for organisation, quality, and the sustainability of the Territory resulted in the creation of the Club of Producers, a non-profit association managed by Luís since 2019. Heencourages the continuous improvement of Soalheiro’s team, and everything he does is guided by the search for quality and differentiation.
The mother, the heart and soul of Soalheiro, Maria Palmira has been there since the beginning of this project. Anyone who has the chance to be welcomed by her will feel the soul of our Territory like no-one else. Co-founder of the brand, her cheerfulness and vitality infect everyone around her. She has coordinated the winery for several years and being a primary school teacher by training, she has a way with words when she explains all the details of Soalheiro and its history. She is attentive and wholehearted, actively participating in the development of every aspect of our company.
A veterinarian by profession, Maria João was born to be surrounded by the vine, the land, and the animals. She is currently a global manager at Soalheiro and coordinates the vineyards, a project she fully embraced in 2004 when she had the whole vineyard at Quinta de Soalheiro certified for organic farming. She advocates for sustainable viticulture based on respect for the Territory. She always knew that she wanted to live here, inspired by her connection to the landscape and to the people of this region. She fosters these relationships through her coordination and supervision of more than 150 families of winegrowers, Soalheiro’s Club of Producers. The diversity of the Territory led us to invest in Infusions, a project that Maria João has cherished from the very beginning.
Thorough and demanding, Lúcia was born in Melgaço like many other members of our team. Her passion for the land and the wines makes her an ambassador forthe Territory. She is currently responsible for the Winery Production and Logistics, coordinating the work from the reception of the grapes to the shipment of the final product. She promotes team spirit in the daily routine, ensuring a good working environment and the integration of each worker on her team. She has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from UTAD (Universidade de Trás–os-Montes e Alto Douro). A passion for knowledge led her toa Post-Graduate course in Wine Marketing at IPVC (Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo) and, later, another Post-Graduate course in Oenology at the Portuguese Catholic University.
A thorough number cruncher, Jorge is the linchpin in accounting and financial management. With a degree in Business Management (2001), he exudes an image of responsibility and high standards. Despite being the man behind the numbers, he appreciates gastronomy and wines, usually being the first to identify Syrah at our team tastings. He truly loves our region, but whenever he gets the chance he goes on to travel and discover the world.
Hardworking and always keen to learn, Margarida studied radiology. But after living afar, her love for Melgaço brought her back to her roots and made her join our team. Margarida does the administrative work at Soalheiro and supports Wine Tourism and Communication. She is a mother of three kids and says that the most important thing is family. That is why she enjoys working here so much – our family spirit means our team is more than just colleagues. For Margarida, it is important that Soalheiro continues evolving and keeps the same spirit.
Inquisitive and talkative, Daniel loves the countryside and the vineyards in the region. His true passion, however, is the winemaking process, so his job is more focused on the vats. He carries out all winery operations methodically and thoroughly, and his expertise in winemaking equipment is an added value for the team. His inquisitiveness has also led him to discover another passion: wine tasting. He describes the stages of winemaking and the different wine profiles with a precision and ease that captivates his listeners.
Committed and cheerful, Sara was among one of the first to join the Soalheiro family. Born and bred in Melgaço, she is the perfect ambassador for the region and the gastronomic traditions of our land. She has been with us for more than a decade and has done a little bit of everything in this house, but what she enjoys doing most is the wine bottling and packaging. The process is now more mechanised, but Sara says that she doesn’t stand far away from the machines, always keeping her eyes on the process and making sure everything is in order.
It is at the Quinta de Soalheiro winery that Edmundo spends most of his days. He carries out all his tasks with rigour and dedication, always bringing a cheerful energy to the vats while he whistles and sings. Passionate for gastronomy and the Minho river, he experiments with some really special lamprey recipes. And it’s not just any lamprey – he catches them himself.
A man of few words, Luís stands out for his rigour and exactness. The vine and the wine are part of his background, but it is at the winery that he spends most of his days, always with a smile. He came from the construction world and discovered at Soalheiro the tranquillity he needed. He loves the authenticity and the simple things in the Territory, like letting his children run free through the vineyards. He says that the wax seal is an art that requires a lot of patience, giving him a certain calmness. All the Soalheiro bottles that need this process pass through his hands.
The atmosphere at Soalheiro vineyards is always cheerful and fun when Flávio is around. His infectious sense of humour permeates the entire team. He is an excellent storyteller, and his positive energy brings the team to life. A jack of all trades, proactive and skilful, he spends most part of his days in the vineyards, but also provides support to equipment maintenance and servicing. His love for the outdoors is evident through the passion and respect with which he talks about nature.
Marta’s father planted his first vines when she was born, marking her entry into the world of wine. Spontaneous and fun, Marta joined Soalheiro’s team to work with the area of Wine Tourism and Communication. Expressive, dedicated, and hardworking, she explains the details of the terroir and winemaking with passion and commitment. In fact, it only takes a wine tasting guided by her to understand her charisma and passion for wine tourism. She is a true ambassador for Soalheiro, Alvarinho, and the Territory.
Mónica is part of the Wine Tourism team. Her creativity and originality make every tasting different. She is inspired by the details and lives her passion for the terroir. Mónica loves to teach about Soalheiro and the Territory to people coming from all corners of the world. She graduated in visual arts and explores her artistic background in our social networks.
Susana’s smile and excitement are contagious to those who enter Soalheiro’s store. At first a little reserved, once you get to know her you are surprised. Born in Melgaço, she studied management and lived most of her life outside of the Territory, but the need to have more time for her family brought her back. She says that the most important thing is to work in a place where she doesn’t remember that she is working, and that is exactly what she found here. She explains, with care and affection, all the details of the different facets of Soalheiro.
Tiago, following in his father’s footsteps, pursued studies in construction, but his passion for viticulture spoke louder. Today, he works in the field helping to take care of our vineyards. His passion is driving the machines, namely tractors and forklifts, which he does as if he was born behind the wheel. When he has the time, he loves to cook in the vineyard and enjoy local delicacies with a view of the unmistakable landscape of our Territory.
Hardworking and dedicated, Rafael likes to get his hands dirty. He worked for 5 years in a rubber factory but he always knew that he wanted to work in the field. The opportunity arose in Soalheiro and he seized it, embracing the opportunity to be outdoors. If we don’t see him in the fields of Soalheiro, we will definitely see him taking care of his own vineyards. Fun, hardworking and dedicated, he is attentive to detail and he cares, like the rest of the team, for all the particularities of our vineyards.
Always attentive and organised, António lives wine in his heart and soul. He rigorously organises his daily work and guarantees that nothing deviates from the plan. His good humour is contagious and you immediately feel a cosy familiarity when you are near him. António did not find his passion immediately, but in his 20s he started enjoying and working more in the countryside. The opportunity to be a tractor driver arose at Soalheiro and he decided to take it. He values the good atmosphere at the winery.
It was with an enormous will to learn that Mauricio joined the Soalheiro team. A recent graduate in Marketing and Communication, he saw an opportunity at Soalheiro to combine his taste for the world of wines with the desire to remain in his native land. It is in logistics that he finds his vocation, where his abilities are tested daily. Organised, methodical, and dynamic, he uses his expertise to ensure that Soalheiro products reach every part of the world in exceptional condition. A drummer in his spare time, it is in music that he finds the energy he needs to carry out all tasks with the utmost rigour.
Miguel is an agricultural engineer and responsible for the Club of Producers. He concentrates on the viticulture at Soalheiro, focusing on issues related to sustainability and environmental responsibility. He has been working all over Portugal, but his passion for the Territory and for Alvarinho brought him back here. He loves spending the day in the vineyards, in contact with the producers and helping to make Alvarinho one of the most noble varieties in Portugal.
Odete has a contagious smile. She came to Soalheiro through the vineyard, she worked at the winery, and nowadays she takes great care of herbal teas. She works in all steps of the process, from the reproduction of the plants, taking care of them when growing in our fields, pruning them while maintaining the integrity of leaves, and packaging with care and affection. She loves figure skating (always accompanying her daughter to trainings and competitions), and dancing (despite saying she has two left feet).
Always in a positive mood, João Bicha is always ready to help the team and lift its spirit. A long-time friend of the family, before officially working at Soalheiro João was already part of the house’s grape harvest team. He has been on this team longer than anyone else. For that reason, he won the status of operator of the presses during harvest time. Currently, he does a bit of everything at the winery, from taking care of the vats, to performing bâtonnage in the barrels, to sparkling dégorgement, to bottling and labelling.
Carla is a native of Valença who lived away for a long time but ended up moving to Melgaço. She wanted to work for Soalheiro since the time she went to a local Alvarinho Festival and stopped at Soalheiro’s stall to drink a bottle with friends. She is a foodie and loves to give great restaurant tips. Hardworking and talkative, she is now part of the administrative team, where she keeps a close eye on orders. Her cheery nature is contagious and her passion for our Territory continues to grow every day.
Carolina left the mountains of Medellin, Colombia, driven by the curiosity to not only see the world, but to meet people. She fell in love with the authenticity she found in this region, especially at Soalheiro, and decided to stay. She is responsible for Soalheiro’s Wine Tourism, ensuring that she keeps doing what she loves the most – getting to know and communicate with people. She believes in wine tourism as a strategic venture for boosting the economy and tourism of the region in which Alvarinho originated: Monção and Melgaço. Focused and curious, she likes to discover a new opportunity in each and every challenge.
Vitor João studied hotel management and completed several cooking courses, but it was his passion for taking care of his family’s vineyards that brought him to Soalheiro. His birthdays at Soalheiro are celebrated with a cake made by him. He works on the filling line and in the sparkling wine dégorgement. A man of many talents, one of his passions is music, an area to which he dedicates his free time.
Rafael joined Soalheiro for a temporary job. Coming from the world of assembling concerts, he felt challenged to embrace a new world, the world of wines. This led him to join our production team. He works in different areas of the winery, from the bottling line to logistics. Rafel reinforces the Soalheiro team with commitment and enthusiasm, which is why he is an asset to all of his colleagues.
Cláudia has wheels on her feet. She is always rushing from one place to another, making sure that none of the details are left out at Soalheiro. She also loves to drive old cars and travel in the motorhome with her family. Her sons have already acquired that taste and ride a quad bike around Soalheiro, the same place Cláudia used to play when she was their age. She grew up as a neighbour of the winery and spent many days there, especially during harvest.
Tiago worked in a bank until he decided to change his life and experimence the harvest in Soalheiro. He did a little bit of everything before moving to the administrative team. He hopes that his Geography and Planning studies can help Soalheiro in the future for innovative projects that promote this Territory that he loves so much.
When talking to Cátia, you can already see that she is thrilled to work here. In her own words: “COVID closed a window, but Soalheiro opened a door!” She had already heard of the Soalheiro family and has found that the fame does justice to reality. She feels very welcome and has already adapted well to our mentality, learning something different every day and working out solutions along the way, leaving Soalheiro even brighter than it was before.
João decided to trade the fast pace of the television industry in Porto for the calm of the Territory. Two days after he settled here, he discovered he was going to be a father, so he rolled up his sleeves and bought a vineyard. He came to Soalheiro to join the Producers Club and ended up handling our Communication. He says that the human quality and beauty around here keep surprising him every day.
Cláudia makes sure our winery is always shining, clean and pretty, something she used to do in her beauty parlour. She left when she heard that there was an opportunity to work for Soalheiro. Always willing to help with anything, Cláudia says that the days at Soalheiro are enjoyable because it is like being at home. The main difference is that her two boys are not running around.
In search of new experiences, Inês decided to use her vacation to work in the herbal teas of Soalheiro. She had already harvested for us and she really liked the people and the environment. At the end of that vacation she discovered that she wanted to stay and be part of this new and ambitious project. For her, seeing the final result of the herbal teas and people enjoying them is the most rewarding.
Coming from Georgia, Tina shares her origin with wine. Her love for wine took her studying around the wine regions of Europe but, as she says, Portugal was the country that won her heart forever. The first Portuguese people she ever met were the team of Soalheiro when she came to do a winemaking internship in 2019. That is when she fell in love with our Territory and one year later, joined our team to integrate wine tourism projects and now is also part of our communication team.
André developed the herbal teas project in Soalheiro from scratch. As a biologist, he has the rigour and methodology that plants demand, and the creativity to turn them into something healthy and tasty. His aim is to continue improving the quality of herbal teas, and to create new ones in the future, because he believes that the project has incredible potential.
André is the youngest and most recent member of our vineyard team. Born in Melgaço, the passion he has for viticulture is reflected in the dedication he employs in his everyday work. He joined us to do his final internship and ended up staying as part of the team. He does a little bit of everything at Soalheiro, but what he really likes is being outdoors, surrounded by vineyards and mountains.
Being part of the herbal teas team brings Andreia great joy. She especially likes our process of drying the herbs, because it ensures the maintenance of all the qualities that the plants develop. She enjoys respecting what nature creates and assuring a harmonious completion of the whole process, leaving the integrity of the leaves and a high percentage of essential oils. She is proud to be taking part in an innovative project in our Territory and pleased to watch the way it can reach anyone, anywhere.
Juliana was born and raised in Melgaço, but it was in Coimbra that she found her passion for Graphic Design. She quickly wanted to return North and found in Soalheiro a place to grow and develop her creativity. Humorous, fun, and eager to learn, she is now part of the Communication team as a designer. Each project is a challenge where she applies her passion and tries to leave her mark, always with an eye on Soalheiro’s “personality”.