Chief Winemaker, Osvaldo Amado with Rui Correia, Head of Marketing & Sales
As befits a company called Global Wines, the portfolio is huge, over the years spiralling to cover six Portuguese regions and San Francisco Vale in Brazil. Once upon a time, it even made quirky international blends like Dourat (Douro/Priorat) and Pião (Piedmont/Dão). However, returning to its roots, the company originally known as Dão Sul is, according to Rui Correia (Head of Marketing & Sales), “very focused now on Dão wines…with other regions [Alentejo, Bairrada, Vinho Verde, Douro, Lisboa, Brazil] there only to complete the portfolio.”
Last year, the “Dão first” strategy saw Global Wines acquire Quinta do Cerrado, where Chief Winemaker Osvaldo Amado has previously made wines. In 2016, it was rewarded when a red from the company’s most classical Dão estate/brand – Casa de Santar – was honoured with ‘Nobre’ or noble status. With Boas Quintas Nobre Branco 2015, Casa de Santar Nobre 2013 is one of only two Dão wines in over 25 years to be certified thus.
Still, as I discovered over lunch, the innovative streak (which I’d largely attribute to former Chief Winemaker/co-founder Carlos Lucas’ derring-do) has not entirely disappeared. Playful where Casa de Santar Nobre is deadly serious, Amado’s versatility shines through in a cheeky White Touriga. Who knew!
Below, you’ll find my notes on highlights from the November tasting, which started over lunch (at Paco Dos Cunhas de Santar’s consistently excellent, contemporary restaurant). By way of background, the company currently owns or manages some 300ha. Correia summarised changes with the core brands as follows: Quinta de Cabriz has become more mainstream/approachable (with a corresponding price reduction) and now includes Global Wines’ organic grapes, Casa de Santar retains its classical profile (“but this doesn’t mean it’s old fashioned,” he added), Paço Dos Cunhas de Santar/Vinha do Contador is top of the range only (hence the organic wine getting the Cabriz moniker), while the plan is to distribute Quinta do Cerrado via the multiples (supermarkets).
Good to have all your ducks in a row when, according to Correia, wine consumption (currently averaging 45l/capita) rocketed in the wake of the financial crisis and continues to grow. A phenomenon which surprised the Head of Marketing & Sales, but which he attributes to the country’s burgeoning tourism. Portugal’s annual deluge of 12 million tourists exceeds the country’s population (10 million)!
While we’re at it, here’s another surprising fact I recently discovered about Portugal from this The University of Adelaide publication about Wine Markets 1860-2016. Grapes represent 35% of Portugal’s total crop production value, putting it at the top of the global leader board for relative importance of grape growing to the country’s agricultural production.
Source: https://thewinedetective.co.uk/blog/dao-from-white-touriga-to-rare-nobre-noble-red-at-global-wines, in 15/01/2018