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Free spirited wine

 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:32 am    Post subject: Free spirited wine Reply with quote

Pinheiro da Cruz vineyard in Southern Portugal has perfect sandy soil and plenty of sun and this may be the reason for its award winning wine but oenologists say what gives their wine that dark, fruity and free spirited taste is the inmates that make it.

Since the early 1950ís, the Pinheiro da Cruz prison has used the labour of prisoners to produce a wine that has won several national awards and that ranks highly amongst well-known Alentejo wines.
Inmates work unsupervised and embrace the flexible rules, the ability to be in the open air, and a small daily wage.
They are even allowed a glass of wine now and then.
The prison makes around 25,000 litres of red wine a year and 5,000 litres of white. Currently a bottle of Pinheiro da Cruz red sells for over 30 euros in Lisbonís top restaurants.
"There is a relationship of trust, we identify the inmates who have a track record that allows us to trust them for this job," said Antonio Matias, a former guard-turned-vintner and currently head of the prison wine cellar.
"The main goal is always to help inmates prepare themselves to return to society. But, if, besides that, we manage to produce good wine, so much the better," said Matias.
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