Video: Simplesmente Vinho, an artisanal wine fair in Porto


I’m in Porto for the sixth edition of Simplesmente Vinho, a fair showcasing the best authentic and natural wines from Portugal and Spain. There are 101 producers here, covering a range of styles and wine growing areas, and it’s a happy hunting ground for geeks like me.

The venue is a spectacular old building on the river, called Casa de Cais Novo. This used to be an extensive warehouse for Port wine, before the taxes were raised too far and all the Port shipping moved over to Gaia, over the river from Porto. Had this happened earlier, Port wine would no doubt be Gaia wine. Cais Novo is spacious and atmospheric, and perfect for this tasting.

The idea behind this event was prompted by visits to off-salons that accompany the major wine fairs in France and Italy. There, smaller producers who typically found big fairs a bad match for them, banded together to form off-site salons of their own where they would show their wines. So Simplesmente developed as an off-salon for Essencia, a bigger wine fair that is taking place now in Porto.

I’ve tasted extensively and found some real gems. These are just a few: plenty more to follow.

One of the revelations of the show was Laura Lorenzo’s wines from Ribeira Sacra under the Daterra label: so elegant and fine

Vitor Claro was one of Portugal’s top chefs; now he’s making exceptional, elegant, fresh wines from the Alentejo

Antonio Madeira is a new superstar of the Dão with his amazingly elegant wines

Luis Seabra is making very correct, but also quite serious wines from the Douro and Vinho Verde, and has just rented a vineyard in Dão

Vasco Croft of Aphros in Vinho Verde: he’s really getting the hang of working with old Portuguese amphorae

Pedro Marques of Vale de Capucha in Lisboa, making some stunning whites from interesting limestone-rich soils

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