People: Interviews

Wine: Top Portuguese Vineyards

From the founder of Bar Douro

Quinta da Gricha

Details

Max Graham, founder of a UJ fave, Bar Douro (Portuguese restaurants) and the Bar Douro Bottle Shop (with a huge selection of interesting Portuguese wines), spent his childhood in Porto and his family have been producing wine in the Douro Valley for over two centuries. So he knows a little about Portuguese wines. We spoke to Max about his top vineyards in Portugal.

Name: Quinta da Gricha
Location: The Douro, Cima Corgo
Why you love it:
This is a unique property! Guests can visit the Gricha Vineyard House, which offers insight into life at a working winery. You can learn about viticulture and winemaking in the world’s oldest demarcated region on a personalised tour and wine tasting. Enjoy Churchill’s award-winning wines while relaxing by the infinity pool or gaze out at the breathtaking valley and Douro River from the panoramic, vined terraces.

Name: Quinta de Monte Xisto
Location: Douro Superior
Why you love it:
Located in the remote Douro Superior, near the mouth of the Côa River, lie João Nicolau de Almeida’s north and south-facing vineyards. With stunning views, João now has 10 hectares under vine with the native grapes he historically helped to identify and study; he and his family are very focused on ensuring that they maintain the biodiversity of the area, as much for the vines themselves as for the region. Because of this, they primarily use organic farming methods which makes visiting fascinating.

Name: Filipa Pato & William Wouters
Location:
Bairrada
Why you love it:
Passion for the traditional indigenous grape varieties of Bairrada led Filipa Pato to start her own project in 2001. In Bairrada, she now has 12 hectares of vineyards scattered throughout the area and visiting her vineyards is like stepping back in time and experiencing Portugal at its most rustic, with its stunning scenery. Filipa and her husband, Belgian sommelier and restaurateur William Wouters, use biodynamic farming practices and minimal-intervention winemaking to produce authentic wines that let the local grapes shine – it’s definitely worth a visit.

Name: Herdade do Rocim
Location:
Alentejo
Why you love it:
Rocim’s vineyards (and winery) are incredibly sustainable, being part of the Wines of Alentejo sustainability programme. Over two-thirds of the vineyards are under organic certification, with the rest of the area under conversion to be the same. At Talhas winery, Rocim makes wine very traditionally, using the Talha traditional winemaking technique, which was started by the Romans and sees wine made in clay jars with very little intervention.

*The Bar Douro Bottle Shop stocks a wide variety of Portuguese wines, aiming to show the diversity of the Portuguese wine scene, including those from the vineyards highlighted above.

Originally published on
17th May 2021

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