[Cellar Talks] S03E03 Reynolds Wine Growers – Carlos Reynolds

On Friday the 16th of April we are joined by Carlos Reynolds from Reynolds Wine Growers for another edition of our talk show “Cellar Talks”. Carlos will join us to talk about his career in wine, the family winery, their great wines and the Alentejo region in Portugal.

About Reynolds Wine Growers

The story of this Portuguese winery starts with an English family.

Thomas Reynolds, an English sailor, and merchant, arrived in Portugal in 1820 and settled in the northern city of Porto with his two sons, Thomas and Robert. From there they supplied their London warehouse with various Iberian products. In 1838, they entered the cork industry and established a factory in Albuquerque (Spain), where they lived for eleven years. The company was a success and soon opens new cork factories in Portugal and Spain. The family returned to Portugal in 1850 and moved to Estremoz. Thomas and his son of the same name weren’t the types to settle down and, driven by the same entrepreneurial spirit, they soon head to New Zealand. They never returned to Portugal.

Robert remained in Estremoz looking after the family business and soon expanded it with the purchase of new land and began to produce quality wine. With that purpose and motivated by the buyers of cork, French wine producers, he chose the French method to make his wines and introduced the Alicante Bouschet grape variety in Portugal for the first time.

The Alentejo became the definitive cradle of the Reynolds family in Portugal and of Robert, the patriarch of the family. In this place Robert’s first son was born: Robert Rafael and from this, Carlos was born. From him was born a daughter whom he named Gloria, Gloria Reynolds. In honor of her, her mother and all of her ancestors who lived in the Alentejo, Julián, produces a quality wine that bears the name of her mother; Gloria Reynolds and continues the family tradition by growing the highest quality grapes to produce the best wines.

The Reynolds estate is by the National Park of S. Mamede hills, near Portalegre, in the Northern Alentejo region, a place of immense beauty – five hundred acres of meadows streaked with green, gold and intense brown. The scenery there is filled with sky and hills, oak and cork trees dotted like sheep across the landscape. The farm house and the winery are amid the vineyard, which avoid a long transportation of the grapes during the harvest.

The family now owns 40 hectares of vineyards, planted on a hilltop, which provides adequate drainage and excellent sunlight. The soil is mostly shale. The undulations of the terrain make the temperature vary hugely from night to day, which promotes the best ripening conditions for the grapes. A perfect setting for the Reynolds’ cult of growing special grapes. The main varieties cultivated are the traditional in the region: Trincadeira, Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Arinto and Alicante Bouschet – the latter was introduced into Portugal by Robert and Jonh Reynolds, his younger brother, over a century and a half ago and it is still used as the base of Reynolds red wines.

After 7 generations, the Reynolds continue to bet on avant-garde and tradition in the production of wines in Alto Alentejo, using the latest technology without neglecting the commitment to quality that has accompanied them for 200 years.

About Carlos Reynolds

Carlos Reynolds, is the 7th generation of the Reynolds Wine Growers in Portugal. Born in Spain, just across the border from Portugal, where his grandmother Gloria Reynolds was born.  Carlos has spent his early years in a small town in Spain called Badajoz, then moved to Madrid to study Industrial Design, at that point he didn’t have in mind joining the family business and but wanted to learn and discover the world.

After finishing his studies he started working on the construction business in Spain as a site manager but eventually he decided to move to England to learn the language while planning what to do next. While in Manchester he worked in a club that led me to work in the same club in Ibiza for few summers, he wasn’t pouring wine but was definitely closer to the wine industry than before, although by chance. 

While living on the island he started helping his father with business trips and promotions, learning the business and commercial side of the wine industry, which he wasn’t familiar with until that point. For few years he mixed working in clubs, studying sailing and selling wine. As it was supposed to happen I was getting more and more involved in the family business and at some point, Carlos felt that he wanted to follow his family tradition and come back to my origins. He left the island and moved closer to the vineyard. 

Carlos’s role in the family business started mainly at (international) sales. But he has embarked into a never-ending learning process where he is taking more responsibilities as his father is semi-retiring. Nowadays he isinvolved in all the decisions where the family and employees discuss as a team what to do.

The Tasting

In the show we will also be tasting on of the Reynolds wines; the Julian Reynolds Reserva. If you want to join us for the tasting we have a local supplier in the Netherlands who sells this wine. You can find them here.

We are looking forward to talking to Carlos and learning from his background, experiences and the winery. In the show we will also be tasting on of their wines; the Julian Reynolds Reserva. Be sure to tune in on Instagram Live through our Dutch Wine Apprentice account on Friday the 16th of April, 19:30h CET.

Click here for instructions on how to follow a live show on Instagram Live. If you have questions for our guest you are welcome to prepare them and e-mail them to us or send them as a direct message on our Instagram account.

You can find a link to the recording of the show here.