Born into a family with a long history of wine production, João Portugal Ramos obtained a degree in agronomy from the Institute of Agronomy in Lisbon. After a period of training at the National Viticulture Studies Centre in Dois Portos, in 1980 he began his career as an oenologist and in 1990 he purchased his own property in the Alentejo region. João is considered by many to be the Piero Antinori of Portugal and a pioneer in the region focusing on lower yields, estate fruit, varietal character, biodiversity and sustainability. He and his family continue to innovate and more recently purchased property, planted vineyards and built a winery in the Vinho Verde, DOC. In 2013 he released the inaugural vintage of his single varietal Alvarhino.
Vinho Verde is the largest DOC located in the northwest of Portugal with 9 sub-zones so it is important to note the fruit source and for this wine the sources were chosen very carefully. The amphitheater-shaped mountain range of the region has the greatest influence on climate - the "natural shelter" that is created limits the Atlantic influence, which is characteristic of the region. Thus, in the sub-region of Monção and Melgaço there are higher average temperatures in summer (better ripening), lower humidity (less incidence of mold) and also lower average annual rainfall than in the rest of Vinho Verde region which allows the grapes to ripen harmoniously without being diluted.
The wine is a medium lemon color with intense aromas of white grapefruit zest combined with flint and floral notes of Paper Whites. This 100% varietal Alvarhino is elegant and engaging, with a touch of white peach skin on the palate and a long mineral finish. The partial barrel fermentation rounds out angular edges, but the racy acidity brings you back for another sip.
This mineral-driven Alvarinho makes an excellent partner for ceviche, Vietnamese-style summer rolls, Gazpacho, Greek feta, cucumber & olive salads and goat cheese & onion tart.