Antonio Madeira is a the man behind a very small producer of quailty natural wines. He is of Portuguese and French descent and his family has roots in the Dão region of Portugal, on the foot hills of the mountain range Serra de Estrela. Antonio has a firm belief that in the highlands of this historical heartland of Dão he will be able to produce the best wines, fine, fresh and mineral driven.
Antonio has worked since 2010 trying to find sites with really old vines. He has found some interesting vineyards with vines more than 50 years old. Some of these have not been properly maintained so yields have been low, in 2010 he only got 80 kg from 1 ha. Thus 2011 was the first real harvest.
Currently he is not big enough to have is own facilities but he is allowed to use the winery of Quinta da Pellada, a sign of qulity in itself that they appreciate his wines.
In his winemaking philosophy Antonio believes in using natural techniques, no additives, pestiscides etc. Today he only has one wine for sale, a red Vinhas Velhas but a white one is due to be released as well. He endevours to bring out the terroir in the wine. No sulphur has been added. Fermantation is done in open vats and local yeast has been used to express the local character. Temprature of the fermentation has been controlled with ice bags and the cool mountain nights.
After pressing, the wine passed directly into, used, French oak barrels, where he made the malolactic fermentation until the following spring and aged it for 16 months.
To us Antonio is one of the most exciting young wine makers in Portugal and with his clear philosophy he creates great wine. It has already been praised by several people, see for example the wine of the month award from the Wine Detective.