If you haven't already realised, we are a little bit in love with the Portuguese wine scene. It is one of the few that has actually managed to grow their market share here in the UK during what has been a steady couple of years of consumption decline. This testament
If you haven't already realised, we are a little bit in love with the Portuguese wine scene. It is one of the few that has actually managed to grow their market share here in the UK during what has been a steady couple of years of consumption decline. This testament to not only the outstanding value that the country has to offer, but also the quality. Many wine lovers tend to lean on Portugal as a great place to source inexpensive, solid wine - and for good reason. However, the world class quality and potential for high end Portuguese juice is as clear as day for much of the wine trade.
This week we catch up with Tony Smith form Lima & Smith. Tony and his business partner, Marcelo Lima joined forces a few years ago to purchase a number of estates across Vinho Verde and the Douro Valley, two of Portugals most important wine regions. Tony is a former correspondent and journalist who fell in love with the world of wine, and aren't we glad he did. His Avesso from Covela is arguably the best varietal expression of the rare grape we have ever tasted, whilst this Tawny and Reserva from Tecedeiras are nothing short of stunning.
Here’s what he had to say:
Why did you decide to get into winemaking?
I felt I was spending too much time looking at the business from the other end of the bottle! Actually I am not the winemaker, but the producer here at Covela, Tecedeiras and Tormes. Our winemaker is Rui Cunha. But both Marcelo, my business partner, and myself, are active in steering the style and profile of our wines together with Rui.
Do you have a favourite wine or wine region outside of your own?
That would have to be Champagne, I would say. But I also love white wines from Austria.
What grape do you like working with the most and why?
Avesso is our key grape at Covela. A Portuguese native varietal, it is grown in a tiny region more or less centred around the Covela area. It is fresh, dry and mineral-driven, and produces an excellent, ageable and very gastronomic Vinho Verde.
The Year of Living Dangerously.
Favourite type of music/artist?
Recently I have been listening to a lot of vocal jazz classics by artists such as The Black Market Trust, Mel Tormé and Matthieu Boré. But I love also Brazilian music and opera. Pop-wise, my favourite group are The Pet Shop Boys.
Fun fact about you that has nothing to do with wine?
That I spent 25 years as a correspondent, journalist and editor without ever writing a word about wine!
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