City of Origin:
Ponte de Lima and Arcos de Valdevez
Total Annual Production:
Aphros winery is the brainchild of Lisbon architect Vasco Croft who decided to explore his passion for wine in a XVII century family estate located in the Vinho Verde Region. Interested in Steiner’s philosophy since his youth, and having led the Waldorf education movement in Portugal for many years, he naturally followed the path of biodynamics. Mountain horses, sheep, bees and special water cascades are part of the farm life. The vines, carefully managed through cover crops, are treated with home made plant extracts. Being made from brandy, these preparations have their origin in the same vines they are destined to treat. The wines, ranging from still to classic method sparkling and Pet Nats, are based on local varieties Loureiro and Vinhão and made with low intervention protocols, using only indigenous yeasts and a minimum of sulphites. They have achieved worldwide recognition and are distributed in over 20 countries in all continents. In 2015 Vasco opened two new cellars; one contemporary cellar dedicated to the classical range of wines and a medieval cellar for the production of artisanal wines in amphorae without the use of electricity, under the brand Phaunus.
Born in Lisbon with an inclination for metaphysics, Vasco thought of being an astrologer in his teens, then decided to become an architect. In his twenties he discovered Steiner’s philosophy, and went on to study pedagogy and sculpture in England, where he also discovered an interest in woodworking and furniture design. On his return to Portugal, he led the Waldorf movement for many years alongside with his own furniture design company. In his thirties he had a life changing encounter with a Buddhist monk, where a bottle of wine was shared. This event, taken by Vasco as a personal meeting with Dionysus, led him in 2003 to start a wine project in Casal do Paço, a semi-abandoned property belonging to his family since the 17th century. A confessed convert to Biodynamics and Dionysism, there are (undeserved!) suspicions that Vasco is a Faun in disguise, living a delightful decadent life in the winery surrounded by beautiful Nymphs – while wishing this would be true, he tries to cope with the manifold hardships of running a winery.