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Casa Santos Lima
Kathy Sullivan

Casa Santos LimaSummary: Casa Santos Lima is located in the Alenquer DOC, about an hour north of Lisbon. Tours of Casa Santos Lima winery are available in English and Portuguese. Be sure to take time to observe the wine industry artifacts located behind the wine shop counter.


Upon arriving at Casa Santos Lima one March morning, we were greeted by a vision of fog covering the vineyard. Casa Santos Lima is a 4th generation family-owned winery. Nearby, the winery is housed in a white modern-style building. During our visit to Casa Santos Lima, we were greeted by representatives of the city. Tiago Pedro mentioned that Alenquer and Torres Vedras shared the European Wine Capital of the Year for 2018. The winery also lays claim to being the largest producer of Vinho Regional Lisboa and DOC Alenquer wines.


Casa Santos LimaThe grapevines at Casa Santos Lima are planted on rolling hills. In the Lisbon region, Casa Santos Lima has 400 hectares (988 acres) of vineyards. The winery also sources grapes. The winery uses both international and indigenous grape varieties. The location of the various grape varieties are well thought out with the white varieties needing less sunlight planted in those areas and red varieties planted where they will receive more sunlight. One wine bottle back label describes the vineyards, “Our vineyards are planted in sunny gentle slopes of clay and limestone soil near Lisbon which, allied to the beneficial maritime influence, provide excellent conditions for the production of quality wines.”

Casa Santos Lima started in 1990 with their own brand. Casa Santos Lima is a multi-brand company, and produced 19 million bottles of wine. The winery exports 90% of their wines and keeps 10% for Portugal. Until 1995 they exported wine to Brazil. Currently Casa Santos Lima wines are exported to about 50 countries.

Casa Santos LimaThe winery uses a variety of oak barrels including: French, American, Portuguese and Hungarian oak. A small area with a window overlooking the barrel room has several pieces of vintage winemaking equipment.

During our tour of the winery, by Ana Rita Rosário, we viewed a video. The video began with scenes of many vineyards from different Portugal regions including : Douro, Vinho Verde, Alentejo, Algarve and Lisboa. The video we viewed offered English subtitles with details about each region.

Casa Santos LimaOur tour also included views of modern stainless steel tanks and cement tanks. It was noted that the 250,000 liter cement tanks are in the wall to manage space.

Wine Tasting

Using Riedel stemware, we began with the LAB brand wine which is one of the most popular Portuguese brands in the United States. The LAB White 2016 was a blend of Moscatel, Sauvignon Blanc, Arinto and Fernão Pires. The wine was aged on lees for five months. The wine was a light yellow color and had 12.5% alcohol. There was an aroma of floral and citrus. The taste offered citrus especially lemon. The finish was crisp with citrus and mineral notes.

Casa Santos LimaThe LAB Rose 2016 was a blend of Castelão, Camarate and Cabernet Sauvignon. The light orange colored wine offered an aroma of berry fruits. The mouthfeel was smooth and the taste was of red berry fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity. This is a 3P (patio, porch, pool) wine or pair with a rocking chair on the porch.

LAB 2015 was a blend of Castelão, Tinta Roriz, Syrah and Touriga Nacional. The wine was an opaque dark ruby color with 13% alcohol. The wine aroma was of black fruit. The smooth mouthfeel had a medium/full body and medium tannins. The taste offered blueberry and a faint hint of leather. The finish began with fruit yielding to spices.

The LAB Reserva 2015 was a blend of Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The wine was an opaque dark ruby color and had 14% alcohol. The aroma was of black fruit. The mouthfeel was velvety and the wine had a medium-full body. Tannins were medium to bold. The taste offered blueberry and leather notes. The finish began with fruit yielding to spices. This is considered an entry level fresh wine. The wine would pair well with both red and white meats, pasta, barbecue, Oriental food and cheese.

Confidencial Reserva 2013 was produced with a proprietary blend of more than 10 grape varieties. The wine was in French and American oak for six months. The wine was a translucent ruby color with 13.5% alcohol. There was an aroma of black fruit. The mouthfeel was velvety and there were notes of blueberry, blackberry and baking spices. This was a full-bodied wine with bold tannins. The finish began with fruit and yielded to baking spices.

Colossal Reserva 2015 was a blend of Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Tinta Roriz and Alicante Bouschet. The wine was an opaque dark ruby color. The aroma was of spice and black fruit. The mouthfeel was silky smooth. There were notes of blackberry, blueberry and baking spices. The wine was full-bodied with bold tannins. The finish was fruity with fruit yielding to baking spices.

Casa Santos LimaAfter our wine tasting, we enjoyed the views of the vineyards from large windows close to the wine shop. I meandered a little past the displayed wines and discovered several sections of shelves and display cases with vintage winemaking equipment. The floor also had a covered clear glass pane with a view of the sand and sea shells. Another inset pane displayed several types of vintage corkscrews. In all, it was an intriguing look at the history of winemaking.

When visiting Casa Santos Lima be sure enjoy the vineyard views, taste the wines and amble through the wine history area.


Casa Santos Lima
Quinta da Boavista, 2580-081
Aldeia Galega da Merceana, Portugal


Article written March 2018.


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