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In 1988, A Danish-American couple set out in a sailboat to find a place to start a family and plant a vineyard. They came to Alentejo, and in a land of white varieties, they planted red. And so begins the story of Cortes de Cima Family Vineyards....

Gazelle la Goelette’ was the sailboat’s name that brought Hans and Carrie Jorgensen on the final leg of a long journey from the other side of the world, across the Bay of Biscay and around Finisterre.

In 1988 they docked in Portugal, and in the heart of Alentejo they found “Cortes de Cima.” It was just a barren land and a few abandoned buildings. But she, of Portuguese ancestry, said the landscape reminded her of California, her homeland.  Hans, who was born in Denmark, fell in love with the Mediterranean sun.

It was the perfect place to settle, start a family, and plant a vineyard.  Vidigueira was a land of white varieties but they found the climate to be perfect for Syrah, a Rhone variety. Yet Syrah did not conform to appellation regulations. Hans and Carrie didn’t care. They had a dream. 

Bulding a DamThey started working the fields, and Hans, an engineer, built a dam. While the vineyard was growing, they planted sunflowers, tomatoes and melons to pay the bills. And their children were born - Thomas in 1991 and Anna in 1993.

Finally, the first grapes arrived. In 1998, a unique Syrah from the Alentejo was born; bold, with a super balance and a sumptuous finish. 
But it hid a secret; the appellation rules wouldn’t allow them to call it Syrah. So they called it ‘Incógnito’ and presented it to the world.  ‘Incógnito’ and Cortes de Cima became a success. And Syrah couldn’t be beyond the rules anymore.

Hans Jorgensen

Owner/Grapegrower and Winemaker

Born in Denmark, Hans took a degree in mechanical engineering and then spent 20 years in Malaysia working with palm and coconut oil, rubber, cocoa and tea.

In Malaysia, he became a pilot - the ideal way to get around the tropical jungle. Hans keeps this tradition alive at Cortes de Cima, using his small aircraft for aerial observation and visiting his vineyards. 

Carrie Jorgensen

Owner/Manager - Sales and Marketing

The great granddaughter of Azorean immigrants who sailed to America from Graçiosa in 1888, Carrie is Californian born, growing up in San Francisco in the swinging 60’s.

Carrie studied Economics at UC Berkeley before moving to Malaysia, where she met Hans. Since the early days of Cortes de Cima, Carrie has been actively involved in both production and sales, first starting with melons and tomatoes, before focusing on wines and olive oil.