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 Curtimenta is a white wine fermented on the grape skins for a total of 21 days. The fermentation is spontaneous and in open tank, and is then transferred to used oak barrels. This Portuguese orange wine is not fined or filtered and is a fairly robust representation of Portuguese orange wine.
Deeply colored, it is also deeply flavored and vibrantly aromatic. Think orange flower water, tamarind paste, and hints of pine resin and herb with a palate that delivers those flavors equally along with vibrant acidity and some noticeable but not overbearing tannins from the grape skin contact.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Dão
Grape Varieties: Encruzado, Siria, Bical, Cerceal Branco, Malvasia
Alcohol by volume: 12%