A&D Wines, Vinho Verde Quinta de Santa Teresa
During my most recent stay in Portugal, more precisely in the beautiful and little-known region of Vinho Verde, I had the great pleasure of meeting extraordinary people as well as making fabulous discoveries. Greeted by the Vinho Verde of Porto association and accompanied by 19 great sommeliers each representing the restaurant for which they worked for, coming from Canada and the United States, we had a series of vineyards to visit and the first of them was A & D Wines.
The domain is located in the south of Baião; Casa do Arrabalde, Quinta dos Espinhosos and Quinta de Santa Teresa make up the 45 hectares that the Gomes family currently owns. A dream location, with breathtaking views! The kind of place where we are happy to rest and where we no longer want to leave. At this time of the year, in early October, there is still a bright blue sky and a temperature that make us believe that summer has not concluded just yet…
We are welcomed by Alexander Gomes, owner of the estate. The visit begins with a walkthrough the terraced vineyards and the others in a pergola, a particularity of the region. These vines that cover the arbours become beautiful leafy arches of great beauty! We then pose in front of a vine, the oldest, the “grandmother” as they like to call it here, who is 200 years old. Alexandre tells his story and the intricacies of his domain.
The site is enchanting with its little resting corners everywhere, its fountains, its flowery paths, and the mature trees that give the site this aspect of a huge natural park. Undeniably, the tasting room is what steals the show. This space filled with windows mixes the modern with the old, with its stone walls that surround it while also all the comfort and modernity necessary for this type of room. And what about this turquoise pool; it is so inviting, with its deck chairs arranged around, inviting us to take a moment to relax and that leave us in awe of so much beauty. In the distance, the green valleys, the Douro that crosses the landscape, the terraced vineyards and the flowering trees that add touches of pink and purple in the pure blue sky. A place and a group of people that I am certainly not going to forget.
Alexander continues the family tradition dating back to several generations with his agriculture in the Baião region. He has inherited this connexion to the land, to the people and to agriculture at very young age. It was in 1991 that he started planting on a new vineyard of five hectares, spread over several plots, like Quintal, Tapadinha, Padronelo, Sarrabalde, Bogalhão and Várzea vines made from native grapes of the region, Avesso, Arinto and Alvarinho.
Possessing an already mature vineyard and aiming to increase the quality of its products, Alexandre and his wife Dialina, created in 2005 the A & D Wines company. They planned to invest both in viticulture and in the creation of infrastructure, in order to increase production and thus obtain a higher quality of its wines. From then on, the initiatives and the projects multiplied tenfold … Since then, they bought a property located in the same area, the Quinta dos Espinhosos, with this time a vineyard of seven hectares which will allow them to bring to life the project to create a cellar that encompasses all the equipment necessary to produce quality white wines.
The introduction on the domestic market was difficult due to the beginning of the financial crisis of 2008. In response to the difficulty of entering the Portuguese market, A & D Wines rolled up its sleeves and decided to quickly start exploring several other European markets. Since then, several countries have been conquered, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.
What does Fernando Afonso think of Restaurant Ferreira on A&D Wines?
I would love to make a comment about my favorite wine of this great trip to the Vinho Verde region. We truly tasted some amazing wines in this trip but my favorite was the:
Singular From A&D Wines Quinta De Santa Teresa
Just WOW! A blend from the estate’s old vines traditional grape varietals of the Baião sub-region giving a full-bodied wine with citrus and rich fruit notes. Very elegant and well balanced between the fruit, acidity and gentle oak flavors. Truly amazing.
A special Mention for the:
SELVAGEM from Marcio Lopes Winemaker
A product that reminded me of the wines traditionally made by my grandparents in the Cávado sub-region back in the 1980’s. A great wine, unique and full of tradition of the region.
Thank you very much for your work.
Fernando Afonso – Restaurant Ferreira, Montreal