António Madeira: a new star from Dão, Portugal

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

António Madeira began making wines in Dão while he was still living in Paris (he’s French, of Portuguese descent). In 2010 he found a 50 year old vineyard and began his project, but because the one-hectare plot hadn’t been pruned for […]

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 […]

A lovely meal at DOP Porto with some nice wines

Had a great meal last night at DOP restaurant in Porto, with some really creative riffing on a Portuguese theme from Rui Paula. We began with a fruity scallop carpaccio, and then progressed to a beautifully cooked corvina (relative of sea bass) fillet with mango and coconut. These exotic flavours worked well, and this was […]

Quinta da Romaneira Vintage Port 2015

I’ve been enjoying this wine over the last few evenings. It’s a superb expression of a very fine year in the Douro, the 2015 from Quinta da Romaneira. I have no idea why this vintage wasn’t widely declared. Romaneira is a spectacular, well situated property in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro, and it […]

The wines of Luis Pato, Bairrada star

Luis Pato is perhaps the most famous face in Bairrada, even though he’s had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the regional authorities, that led him for a time to drop ‘Bairrada’ and move to labelling his wines as Beiras, the larger regional appellation.

Pato is known as a modernist, but he makes wines that […]

The wines of Quinta das Bágeiras, Bairrada

Mário Sérgio’s Quinta das Bágeiras is one of the leading wineries in Bairrada. He created the domaine in 1989 from 12 hectares of vines he got from his grandfather, and grew it by a further 16 to its current size of 28 hectares spread over 10 different vineyard plots.

The wine style here marries a modern […]

Filipa Pato and William Wouters: groundbreaking wines from Bairrada, Portugal

Filipa Pato is the daughter of Luis Pato, and she’s been making wine for a while now under her own name. But she really found her direction when she began focusing solely on Bairrada, and started working with her husband William Wouters, a Flemish dude (from Antwerp) with a background in the restaurant business. With […]

Quinta de Baixo, Bairrada, with Dirk Niepoort

Dirk Niepoort has long been interested in the terroirs of Bairrada. He thinks that the combination of the chalky clay soils and the Baga grape variety makes this potentially the best terroir in Portugal, even though he acknowledges that in many respects the region is a bit messy. ‘It is not the easiest variety in […]

Tasting the wines of the Buçaco Palace Hotel, one of Portugal's treasures

The Buçaco (Bussaco) Palace Hotel is one of Portugal’s most striking bits of Neo-Manueline architecture. It’s almost impossibly ornate, with incredibly elaborate stone carvings rammed in just about everywhere. But despite its over-the-top nature, it’s quite magical. Originally there was a convent on this hilltop site, but the current building was constructed as a palace […]

Quinta do Vale D Maria, one of the Douro's best Quintas, is sold by Cristiano van Zeller

Sad to learn that Quinta do Vale D Maria, one of the Douro’s top quintas, has been sold by Cristiano van Zeller to the Guedes family of Aveleda Vinhos, one of the leading producers in Vinho Verde. Fortunately, Cristiano already has a good relationship with the Guedes (they have family ties) and he and his […]