What am I: Quinta do Casal do Paço has been in Vasco Croft’s family since the early 17th-century and spreads over nearly 20 hectares of land and forests, four of which are vines and with four of chestnut orchards. At its center stands a granite 16th-century two-story manor house complete with chapel. The wine cellar on the first floor dates back to the origin of the house.
In October 2006, the first biodynamic preparations were put to the ground, marking the beginning of a direction that would transform both the farm and its wines. Since that time, Vasco, and his Aphros wines, have been pioneers in biodynamic winemaking not only in Portugal but also in Europe.
Located in Minho, and specifically in the DOC of Vinho Verde, Aphros focuses on the grapes typical of the region – Loureiro for whites and Vinhão for reds. However, the hallmark feature of Aphros wines is experimentation, and sometimes it is hard to keep all the various wines produced there straight in your mind. Many wines are held back and released after some time in bottle, whereas others are released young.
There are sparkling wines, and still, whites, reds, and rosé’s – an abundance of discoveries to work through! This is not your supermarket Vinho Verde: These are wines of great depth and character, with expressive minerality, seductive and luscious fruit qualities, and characteristics that place them amongst the best wines of the world. Aphros is truly one of the leading and most admired natural wine producers who make wine in Portugal.
The Phaunus series of wines were designed to be made with even less intervention than the normal Aphros range. No electrical devices, such as pumps, are used in the making of these wines, and all the wines are completely free of any added sulfur.
Aphros Phaunus Amphora Palhete is a mix of white Loureiro and red Vinhão, co-fermented in clay amphora, and aged on skins for 7 months. This wine is loaded with red fruit notes like cherry, raspberry, and strawberry, along with orange peel, and hints of smoke and earth. It is a good accompaniment for lamb, wild game, poultry, and pork.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Minho/Vinho Verde
Grape Varieties: Loureiro & Vinhão
Alcohol by volume: 11.5%