Luis Pato is often considered as a bit of a maverick figure, and has been making wine in Bairrada, Portugal since 1980. In many respects, Bairrada is Portugal's most historic wine region, achieving renown right back to Roman times. And recently, especially with the launch of the Baga Friends union, Bairrada looks set to re-establish its glorious reputation.
Pato’s estate now has 60 hectares of vines featuring mainly Baga for red wines and Bical and Maria Gomes for whites. And, although Portugal is not famous for them, sparkling wines are also one of their specialities.
Also known as Fernao Pires, the Maria Gomes grape thrives in the sandier area of Bairrada. This is one of Portugal's most planted grapes. It grows more or less all over the country, but is particularly important in the regions of Tejo, Lisboa and Bairrada. It's an aromatic variety - you might detect scents and flavors of lime, lemon, roses and other flowers, tangerines, oranges... and it's best drunk young. It is also very versatile, sometimes used as a single variety, sometimes blended, sometimes used as a base wine for sparkling wine, and can also be harvested late to make sweet wines. Fernão Pires vines are frost-sensitive, and best suited to warm or hot climates.
A really delicious wine which should replace cheap Prosecco the world over. Lovely sweet-floral fruits on the nose, and a touch of toasty / biscuit character. Dry on the palate, but not too Brut, tasting of apples and fresh lemons. Serve as an aperitif, or next to melon and proscuitto appetizers.
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