What am I: João Tavares da Pina is a bon-vivant, talented cook, and charming conversationalist who is also laser-focused on making pure expressions of his Dão terroir with land that has been in his family for generations. His farm is 40 hectares, with 13 planted with grapes. Dominant on the property are the native Jaen, Rufete and Touriga Nacional red grapes, and Encruzado, Siria, and Bical for white grapes. He is also bringing back to life several rare and forgotten local varieties in a young vineyard specially planted for this purpose.
In the vineyards, João practices strict organic viticulture and uses no products except for organic compounds. He is somewhat obsessed with the great variety of cover crop that he has on his vineyard – such as chamomile and lavender – that serve as natural fungal repellents and protectors of the vines. The vineyards are mostly granitic, with small parcels of clay, and very ancient marine sedimentary soils.
João has two primary brands that he sells wine under; Rufia, and Torres de Tavares. The Rufia wines are meant to be drunk young, fresh, and vibrant. They are somewhat playful in style, but still focused and are extraordinary food companions.
João Tavares da Pina Rufia Tinto Mencia is a medium-bodied red wine with loads of bright red fruit flavors. Cranberry, red currant and pomegranate are the lead flavors, while on the palate, the brightness and acidity keep this wine a fresh and lively example of a Dão red. Some granite minerality, and leafy forest notes from the Rufete and Jaen (Mencia). This is a great wine to pair with lamb, or wild game birds – a perfect red for any “shoulder season” meal where you want something not too heavy and not too light.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Dão
Grape Varieties: Mencia
Alcohol by volume: 11.2%