Our Portuguese buyer talks ducks & old vines with Filipa Pato and catches up with Carlos Lucas and his new winery in the Dão
Filipa Pato and Lance Foyster MW (UK wine agent) in front of the family chapel
Filipa Pato is one of the leading lights in Bairrada and always, generously, has something new to show, even if there just isn't enough to go around. There is a new vineyard next door to her father's duck pond (Pato means duck in Portuguese), a gift from her grandmother, which will be used to make sparkling wine.
Another has been painstakingly restored to give the very old vines a new lease of life, supporting each one with natural stakes hewn from the devastated forests following last year's fires.
And she has a new cellar too, carefully installed beneath her home without disturbing the simple natural beauty of their sleepy village. Filipa's wines are hard to come by but always worth seeking out.
Luis Pato's duckpond (pato means 'duck' in Portuguese – hence the use of ducks on the Pato labels!)
Filipa Pato's lovingly restored vineyard
Nature and nurture in the Dão region
My first visit to see Carlos Lucas of Quinta do Ribeiro Santo in his new cellar just outside Carregal do Sal offered a fascinating palette of experiences, from the simple beauty of birds busy in the flower-carpeted vineyards to an impressive modern cellar with perhaps the most unusual vat I have ever seen (Wizard of Oz fans will be reminded of The Tin Man!), all culminating in an impressive tasting of wines from a number of regions, the stars of which were indisputably the Dão wines.
Made in a modern style, these are pristine and refreshing but respectful of their origins. Working for himself clearly suits Carlos, and his love of experimentation and of Portugal's indigenous grapes make him a winemaker to follow.
Carlos Lucas' impressive new winery just outside Carregal do Sal
Carlos Lucas in the vineyards
Where to go next?
Lisbon & SISAB >
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