What am I: Antonio Madeira Vinhas Velhas Branco white wine
Antonio Madeira, native Portuguese but raised in France, trained as an engineer. After some time he decided to return to his ancestral home in the Dão region at the foot of the Serra Estrela. One of his goals was to identify the tiny forgotten vineyards that could be considered the Grand Cru vineyards of Dão. Antonio worked closely with the owners of these vineyards to develop trust. Along the way, he shared with them his idea to work with small vineyard holdings to protect them from being ripped out in the name of progress.
Over time he slowly built up a group of over 15 small vineyards and more than 30 individual plots. These vineyards continue to be the backbone of his project. Antonio now owns some of his own vineyards, and his wines display a purity and elegance that prove the value of his original vision.
Antonio works these vineyards without any chemical intervention and uses mostly biodynamic principles. Extremely low-intervention and hands-off winemaking are used to showcase the granitic terroir of his native area. He uses no winemaking additives other than a small amount of sulfur in bottling.
Antonio Madeira Vinhas Velhas Branco white wine comes from vineyard parcels whose average age is over 80-years old. The main difference between this wine and the colheita branco is that 15% of this wine spends time in French oak casks. This gives the wine more texture, more complexity, and more flesh to complement the inherent and precise mineral backbone of the wine. It is a phenomenal pairing with oysters or any and all other briny seafood.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Dão – Serra da Estrela
Grape Varieties: Siria, Fernão Pires, Bical, Arinto, Cerceal, and several others
Alcohol by volume: 13.5%