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When Vasco Croft of Aphros recommended António to us, he described him as “a young brilliant producer who is making a unique job with reaching old vines and terroirs, using organic farming and biodynamics.” He further stated that he thought these the best wines in the Dão today, and certainly the most mineral. We, having had the happy experience of working with Alvaro Castro for several years, thought that this might be a stretch, but were encouraged to learn that António had made his first wines with Alvaro. After a long and intense video call and a giddy tasting of a range of his wines in Germany, all doubt was dispelled and we could hardly believe our good fortune at having secured the rights to yet another Portuguese star of the highest order. Despite his exemplary Portuguese name, António is actually a Frenchman, brought up in Paris. He had a successful career as an engineer until the wine siren came calling and he was moved to return to his ancestral home in the Serra da Estrela, the high country which yields most of the Dão’s greatest wines – and Portugal’s best cheeses. He set out to find unknown or abandoned vineyards planted to old vines and made his first wine in 2011. Since then, he has expanded his sources to about 25 plots planted in eight hectares, all cultivated organically. He typically works with field blends, but has an understandable regard for Encruzado, which he is systematically replacing for Tinto Roriz. António is not the first grower we know who claims to be inspired by Burgundy (Fílipa Páto is another), but he is one of the few whose wines bear out the ambitious homage.
Serra da Estrela
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António Madeira, who is French of Portuguese descent, has his roots in the foothills of Serra da Estrela. Since 2010, António Madeira has been researching the places in this sub-region, that his ancestors elected as the best for winemaking, those that we might call the 'Grands Crus of the Dão highlands' and found a series of old vines that are distinctive because of the authenticity of their grape varieties, the characteristics and nuances of their granite soils and sun exposures.
António Madeira is of French and Portuguese descent. He worked in Paris in Engineering during 15 years before changing his life, leaving Paris and Engineering to dedicate his life to make wines in the region of his family roots, the Dão in Portugal.
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