Meet the man behind one of the most dynamic, forward-thinking projects in the historic Douro Valley wine region
At Good Pair Days we have quite the soft spot for Portugal. Our UK Wine Buyer, Harry has spent a fair bit of time falling in love with the Douro Valley (just inland from Porto), where he cut his teeth learning all about how wine is made. On his travels he met Pedro Coelho, one third of Pormenor Vinhos who was doing something quite different and shaking things up in Douro. Traditionally this is the region for Port wine. However over the last decade or so, there has been a significant shift toward high quality table (still) red and white wine. Whilst this has been a welcomed change, many of these wines are rich, opulent and full-bodied with punchy alcohol levels. Pedro and the Pormenor team are changing it up, they focus more on white wine production and they pick early. This often makes for wines with more freshness and acidity and lower level of alcohol. They are some of the most exciting wines we have found so far in the Douro Valley. Everything is fermented naturally, with no additives, and minimal use of sulphur is used form start to finish.
So, time to meet the man behind one of the most dynamic, forward thinking projects in this historic wine region:
Why did you decide to get into winemaking?
This is a story full of coincidences...
I graduated with a degree in Management, my father was a cork producer and my grandfather a cooper (he made barrels), but I wanted to try something different, so I started to work for a wine producer but in the finance department. Follow that I moved to another wine company and became a brand manager, a job which took me to Macau, China for 12 months.
After China, I met a friend at a wine dinner and we had a conversation around doing something different, something that was unusual for the Douro region - it seems to have worked so far - let’s hope it stays that way!
We focus on freshness, minerality, less extraction, and moderate alcohol levels, with structure and easy drinking, in an elegant way. Wines to be drunk now but also that will age beautifully in the bottle, is my philosophy
Do you have a favourite wine or wine region outside of your own?
It is very difficult to choose one wine and less difficult to choose the wine region. There are some wines I drink often because of the style of vinification or characteristics of the place that they are from.
If I have to choose a region I would say three from three different countries: Chablis (France), Piemonte (Italy) and Dão (Portugal).
What grape do you like working with the most and why?
There is a grape I really enjoy and at the moment is the only wine I produce as a single variety wine: ’A de Arinto’, It is made from 100% Arinto.
It’s a grape with lots of acidity that lacks mid-palate when tasted. When I decided to produce this wine in Douro it was to demystify that. An Arinto wine with lots of acidity and mid palate.
But Portugal is a country famous for field blends and, in my opinion, correctly. Specially in Douro.
Favourite type of music/artist?
Grunge, Rock, Jazz & Soul.
Fun fact about you that has nothing to do with wine?
I was a water polo player until my 30´s.
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