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Portugal

Stretching 350 miles north to south with significant variations in climate between coastal and inland regions, Portugal can produce an amazing array of wines.

Portugal continues to excite and entice us as we explore its vineyards year after year. This year has been no exception as we are delighted to have taken on Quinta da Alorna. A wonderful estate with a proud and long history dating back to the 18th century, providing us a wide range of wines from the underappreciated region of Tejo, that really fills out our Portuguese offering.

Dismissed out of hand in times gone by, Tejo, and in particular Quinta da Alorna, offers great quality and value from a variety of soils and grape varieties for those that are willing to look. There is a long history of winemaking here that has thrived in the warm climate, complex soils and beside a river that sweeps all the way through the landscape to Lisbon and the sea.

It was at Quinta da Alorna that our Iberian team fell upon a sympathetic grower with a wonderful resource that inspired them to create the latest addition to our own production range - Ai Galera. The two wines under the Ai Galera brand really demonstrate the natural wealth Portugal has in terms of grape varieties, flavours and inherent character, but above all value.

Although spared the frosts that effected many parts of Europe, the wild fires that broke out in the north in the Autumn brought their own challenges to the Dão. Thankfully, our own Julia Kemper escaped unscathed and the vintage is looking good, especially the whites.  Similarly reprieved were the vineyards at Quintas do Homem, in Vinho Verde, where Ana Coutinho (interestingly a close friend of Martta Simoes at Alorna) continues to identify parcels within the estate that can give her the precise varietal character that she wants leading to ever more defined wines, however it is her blend this year that particularly has benefited from her great knowledge - the Casa do Homem.