What am I: Antonio Madeira, Portuguese raised in France, and trained as an engineer, decided to return to his ancestral home in the Dão region at the foot of the Serra Estrela. In this place, he set about identifying the tiny forgotten vineyards that he felt could be considered the Grand Cru vineyards of Dão. Working closely with the owners of these vineyards, developing trust, and showing them his vision of working with small vineyard holdings to show their potential while protecting them from being ripped out in the name of progress, he was able to slowly build up a group of over 15 small vineyards and 30+ individual plots that he could work. These vineyards were the backbone of his project, and although Antonio now owns some of his own vineyards, his wines display a purity and elegance that prove the value in his original vision.
Antonio works these vineyards without any chemical intervention and using mostly biodynamic principles, and practices extremely low-intervention/hands-off winemaking to showcase the granitic terroir of his native area. He uses no winemaking additives other than a small amount of sulfur in bottling.
As the entry-level white wine, the Antonio Madeira Branco is a mix of vineyards and varieties. Fresh, vibrant, and laden with minerality it is a textbook example of the impact of granite soils. More crisp than chewy, the mix of vineyards has an average age of over 50-years old. The wine has a hint of salinity, good citrine fruit presence, and just a bit of savory character. This is a tremendous Summer picnic wine, works whenever tasty white wine is needed.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Dão – Serra da Estrela
Grape Varieties: Siria, Fernão Pires, Bical, Arinto, Cerceal, and several others
Alcohol by volume: 14%