Integrated Production

The management strategy focused on the future generations.

In the Herdade of Anta de Cima, the established farming system is based on the balance between the human intervention and the all type of ecosystem services supported by the local environment. Considering the high value of diversified systems, there is a daily concern about enhancing biodiversity, preserving water, soil and genetic resources and creating circular-economies at a farm level able to integrate in the best way our production systems in the natural conditions.

The management strategy focused on the future generations and consequently on the development of a sustainable agricultural model consists on integrated farming (IF) practices, particularly at the vineyards of the Herdade. The IF concerns especially about the management of natural resources by minimizing secondary effects and externalities. It aims to balance nutrient budgets by reducing losses such as leaching, runoff or volatilization. IF practices aim also to enhance biodiversity and to guarantee the quality of our products.

Yield reducing factors such as pests or diseases are treated under an integrated approach according to the related regulation. In the vineyards of the Herdade, high diverse natural cover crops composed by several species lead not only to advantages on the control of soil erosion but also to a substantial source of organic matter to the soils and to functional diversity mechanisms.

Resources use complementarity, niche differentiation, symbiotic relationships and habitats for pests natural predators or pollinator species which enhances biocontrol are examples of how biodiversity at the vineyards level results in functional services. According to IF regulation, the fertilization, irrigation and pruning of our vineyards have also to follow environmentally sustainable practices.

Besides the viticultural system, it is also found in the Herdade an agroforestry system able to stabilize the soils and the microclimate of the ecosystem. This complex system is capable to regulate water fluxes on the slopes of the landscape, improving soil infiltration capacity, reducing soil erosion and to create shadow and produce food for the livestock and habitats for pollinator species or natural predators of pests.

A biodiverse productive system that yields annual products such as pine nuts, acorns and timber and pluriannual products as cork. Cork consists in one of the key products of our system. A product with high quality specific traits that integrates the national industrial chain and turns therefore the management of the cork oak forest economically viable. An important carbon sink that plays an essential role on the positive carbon balance of the mediterranean forest.

A significant product for the local and national economy with a considerable weight on the portuguese GDP. The cork forest ecosystem is recognized by several NGO’s as one of the 35 hotspots on earth in terms of biodiversity and our management strategy is in line with this consciousness.

This system supports also livestock activities such as the extensive production of sheep for meat and the singular case of the Alentejano pig.

The Alentejano pig is produced under a particular system where the animals graze in the grasslands of the cork oak forest during the final phase of their life cycle. During this period, these pigs feed essentially on the released acorns that lay under the canopies of the cork oak trees (Quercus suber). This diet allows them to achieve the desired organoleptic meat constitution that certification demands, being later sold as one of the healthiest type of meat on internal and external luxury markets. This animals are still responsible for the unique delicious salted “Presunto Pata Negra” or also called as “Iberian Jamón”. The integration of these animals in this system is a crucial element for stimulating the most diverse interactions between plant and animal species. This results in a sustainable ecosystem where the farming activity understands biotic and abiotic interactions being equally a promoter of additional environmental value. In the Herdade of Anta de Cima, we believe in a productive agriculture supported by the ecosystem and capable to enrich it.

The natural conditions of the Herdade also create habitats for several game species, such as the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), the common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus), the mallard or the wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos), the woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), the song thrush (Turdus philomelos), the european hare (Lepus europaeus), the european rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the wild boar (Sus scrofa). Many other species are also commonly found here: the egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), the common genet (Genetta genetta), the european badger (Meles meles) and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).

We aim to create a symbiosis between our work and the ecology of the Herdade.