The producer Felipa Lobo da Silveira (left) next to a member of her team.
Filipa Lobo da Silveira and her brother Miguel represent the third generation of this Portuguese family winery, located in the Alentejo region. The winery, as they like to say themselves, “is a story created out of stories and of many moments that should be told.” It is about a family and its team where the chapters are written daily.
Filipa and Miguel, together with three cousins, represent the continuity of a project their grandparents started. The history of the family, which is linked to the village of Alvito (Beja), has its secrets and traditions encapsulated in the coat of arms of the Lobos da Silveira family, the descendants of the first Baron and Marquise of Alvito of the 15th century. The coat of arms has five wolves, which strangely match the number of cousins who, in their day, have undertaken to continue the project their grandparents started.
A passion for the land and respect for what Mother Nature provides are the guiding principles of this family and team who pour all their knowledge and dedication into the vineyard, which in turn is expressed through their wines.
The vineyard - where it all happens and the focal point of a passion for the land and respect for what it offers.
They own 75 hectares divided into two vineyards: the cool-climate Herdade Vale d´Anta (25 ha), where they grow Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Aragonez, Castelão, Syrah, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Alicante Bouchet; and Arraiolos (50 ha), where the climate is warmer and more suitable for producing great wines. Here, they also grow the afore-mentioned grape varieties, as well as white cultivars such as Arinto, Sauvignon Blanc, Antão Vaz and Chardonnay.
Filipa recalls growing up “seeing wine made by her grandparents, who showed a passion for each plot they planted, and carefully tended and nurtured them”. It was her grandfather who introduced her to the world of wine when she was 14 years old. It was then that they gave her the first wine for her to taste. It was a red wine. She remembered thinking: “I will hold my nose. I don’t think I will like it.” Her first impression made an impact, as she says: “I could smell aromas of violets, coffee and toasted sugar and thought... Wow!” Over time, she became attracted to the sensations exuded by wine... and still is today.
In 2012, she focused 100% on the winery which “had already secured recognition for its quality”, but something was missing. That “something” was the marketing message on the label. According to Filipa, “the first label was made by the winemaker. He was excellent in his work, but he lacked skills as a designer”. So they designed a new image for the label where they aimed to tell their story, and managed to do so. ‘Solar dos Lobos’ means ‘House of the Wolves’, and they worked hard to tell the story of their family’s coat of arms where a wolf irreverently goes in search of the best grapes which, in turn, go to the winery to produce the finest wines.
Santiago Jiménez - Photographs: Courtesy the winery