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What more do you need to know than that Vasco Croft, an architect, educator and devotee of Rudolf Steiner, discovered the mysteries of wine in his mid-thirties through the intervention of a Brazilian Buddhist monk? From there you intuit that the path leads directly to starting a winery and farming biodynamically, right? We are proud to be the first to import his wines into the USA, but he has already blazed a trail through the English press, with luminaries like Jamie Goode and Sara Ahmed leading the praise. In person he is as vivid, energetic and unbuttoned as his wines. Endlessly restless, he is currently engaged in an ambitious project to create a cultural center/restaurant and a food forest on his recently expanded estate. He reminds us of Stéphane Tissot in his endless quest to find new wines to express his burgeoning curiosity. Several of these are featured in the expansive selection below, notably the Phaunus, Melissae and Ouranos. A recent visit to the estate found it operating at ever-dizzier levels of refinement and class. Much of the credit for this steep ascent must be given to Vasco’s cellar-master (and now business partner) Miguel Abreu, a man of exceptional lucidity and purpose who sees vinous possibilities that elude others and knows how to achieve them.
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Aphros

FEMALE
WINEMAKER

Producer:
Aphros
Country:
Portugal
Region:
Vinho Verde
Subregion:
Lima
City of Origin:
Ponte de Lima and Arcos de Valdevez
Date Founded:
2004
Owner Name:
Vasco Croft
Vineyard Size:
44.46 HA
Total Annual Production:
8300 Cases

Property History:

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.

Owner History:

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.

Wines By Aphros
Aphros

2020 Melissae (Vinho Verde, Loureiro)

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Aphros

2022 Phaunus Pet Nat Rosé

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Aphros

2021 Loureiro (Vinho Verde)

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Aphros

2014 Pan Rose Sparkling Wine

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Aphros

2020 Ouranos Alvarelhao Red (Vinho Verde)

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Aphros

Aphros 2018 Vinhao Red

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Aphros

2020 Phaunus Palhete

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Aphros

2022 Loureiro (Vinho Verde)

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Aphros

2021 Phaunus Pet Nat White

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Aphros

2020 Vinhao Red (Vinho Verde)

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