… it was only in 1988 that its current owner Julio Bastos started commercializing the wines produced here both nationally and internationally, the famous Garrafeiras of 1985, 1986, 1987, always known for it’s superior quality.
In 1992, Júlio Bastos, wishing to ensure its growth and, at the same time, the distribuition of his wine production, sold 50% of the Sociedade Agrícola Quinta do Carmo to the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). It was then that the old winery was transferred from Quinta de Dona Maria, or Quinta do Carmo, to the Estate called Herdade das Carvalhas, which belongs since then to that company.
Never having given up on the idea of again producing his own wine, it was at the beggining of the new millennium that the opportunity arose. Júlio Bastos then decided to sell his shares in the Sociedade Agrícola Quinta do Carmo, and started this new project, Dona Maria wines.
In 2003 the first harvest of a new stage in the long life of this estate took place , whereby the concept is the production of quality wines allied with a family project, distinctive feature of this estate throughout the years
Since the beginning of this project the Dona Maria wines have been recognized, not only by the public but also by opinion leaders. Having achieved high scores in international magazines such as WineSpectator, Robert Parker and Wine Enthusiast, as well as in many international competitions, the Great Gold Medal award, with the wine Dona Maria Reserva 2003, was a great achievement since it had, until then, been the first-ever Portuguese wine to be awarded this distinction.
Nationally the situation repeated itself. In 2009, Júlio bastos, was named “Producer of the Year” by the prestigious “Revista de Vinhos”, as well as awarded many excellence prizes.
The vertical and the older vintages here were poured at the winery in Alentejo. Considering the relative youth of this operation—although owner Julio Bastos personally has a long and storied history in the region—these rounded into form quickly and are well on their way to becoming a top label in the region, if they aren’t already! – Mark Squires (December, 2012)