The pride of being the first choral group of a winery, now that Cante Alentejano was considered Intangible Cultural Heritage 04/12/2014

On November 27th, Cante Alentejano was one of eleven new elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

After Fado, Cante Alentejano was internationally recognized in what followed 15 years of work towards the valorization of a genre considered a «collective expression — (it) involves 18 to 30 voices. It’s inclusive. It’s very aware of the social movement», as it was described by the singer Vitorino to the newspaper Público.

This was the reason why the news from Paris were received with pride in Vidigueira (southern Portugal), where the Choral Group of the Cooperative Winery of Vidigueira, Cuba and Alvito, founded on January 2013, was created spontaneously by the winery associates, some of them interpreters of Cante Alentejano.

The idea to form a choral group with the region’s winegrowers, the first in the country, has originated from the will to promote one of the greater riches of these lands — the wine —, and its implicit cultural value, marked by the local grape varieties, with special emphasis on Antão Vaz. Composed of 25 associates and winery employees, it aims to reinforce: Vidigueira, when wine is a journey…

«Here… Here in the golden plain, where the wind’s voice sounds louder, in harmony with the tons of the earth, giving them sonority of infinite beauty: there… I heard a thousand times beautiful immortal songs. The men from «terra do cante» («land of the song», in a reference to Alentejo’s cante) were shaped by the plain that gave them character, unique uprightness and a musical knowledge that is lost in the origins of time, on a perfect symbiosis of several cultures mingled between the people of the South», words from the Choral Group of the Cooperative Winery of Vidigueira, Cuba e Alvito.

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