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.
Rufia wines tend to be fresh and drinkable young, while Torre de Tavares are more structured and textured wines. Tretas and Lero-Lero stand somewhat alone as their own wines, without a brand, light, fresh reds, right off the press.
Tretas, which means nonsense (to be polite) in slang, is a lighter style of red made from younger vines. Macerated on the skins for 4 days and spontaneously fermented, the wine is staged in inox for just 6 months before bottling and release.
João Tavares da Pina Rufia Tretas is the very essence of Portuguese glou glou – a crushable, quaffable red, that is even better after 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Dão
Grape Varieties: Jaen and Touriga Nacional
Alcohol by volume: 12%