We are the new generation of a traditional Portuguese family that has always nourished a great passion for Dão – our origin.
It was hundreds of years ago that the Melo Family first laid eyes on Terras de Azurara and, thus, the Dão’s terroir was found – the plateau where Julia Kemper’s vineyards grow.
Over time there were parcels of land – some vineyards – that left the sphere of the family but like a boomerang, they returned, and today, a part is in the hands of Julia de Melo Kemper.
Over the centuries the Melo Family always treated their vineyards with the love of the farmer who knows how to be a part of a magnificent and blessed terroir.
Like the good father, the Melo farmer always cherished his vineyard and gave them the best of his life, and over the generations – transmitting knowledge of tested flavors – a wine has been consolidating: the precious liquid that one day Julia de Melo Kemper decided to present to the world.
In 2000, Julia de Melo Kemper, a lawyer by profession, in Lisbon, was named by her father, also a Melo, António Melo, to continue the legacy of the Melo family in DÃO. And so it was in DÃO, in Quinta do Cruzeiro, Viseu, that Julia Kemper also became a farmer.
In the words of Julia herself: “do not look at the Julia Kemper vineyards as the luck of a heiress. I refused the inheritance for several years!”
But one day Julia Melo Kemper accepted the challenge… and in 2003 (in the words of Julia herself) “I began one of the most beautiful experiences that I think we can have; perhaps because at the end, we humans, are only recently urban and getting in direct contact with the laws of nature awakens something that we were unaware before”. In my case, she continues, “opting for organic farming – it has not go through my mind not to treat the earth as my family did before me – intensified this experience of nature. My vineyards became meadows where all life operates, to help me produce the best and healthiest grapes to make wine.”
The “demands” of Julia:
The wine should be sold!
Her ancestors made wine for domestic consumption only. At that time, domestic consumption covered a “scandalous” number (for the current size) of family members.”In my family, between cousins and uncles, we were over 1000. And then there were also friends, customers. To all these people were distributed every year, dozens of bottles each.”
My ancestors enjoyed participating with their wines in competitions, including international (known is the participation in Berlin in the early 1900s where the wine won a gold medal). And the oldest participation traceable in paper was in Lisbon in 1885.
Since the first vintage, 2008, Julia Kemper wines have collected many awards, namely, being chosen amongst the Top 50 Portuguese wines for several years, receiving very honorable distinctions, testimonials and important ratings, throughout the world! The wines are sold around the world since 2010.
And this is the story of the first Dão wine brand in the Melo Family – Julia Kemper wines.