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Azores Wine Company Branco Vulcânico 2018


Azores Wine Company Branco Vulcânico Pico Azores 2018

The Azores (Açores in Portuguese) is an archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic, some 800 miles and change west of Portugal. They are an autonomous region of Portugal. It was settled in the early half of the 15th century. Pico Island is in the central group of the archipelago’s numerous islands. The islands main feature is the towering volcanic mountain, Ponta do Pico, which is Portugal’s highest peak, sitting over 7000 feet above sea level.

Like many places on earth, it is believed that Franciscan Friars were the first to plant grapes on the island. UNESCO has designated a World Heritage site entitled Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture.

Pico is an island of Black Basalt. The soils are so poor that soil from neighboring islands is brought over to provide sustainable nutrients to the struggling vines. Yields are extremely low as a result of the soils, and that the vines need to be cloistered into small “currais” to protect against the fierce winds that are constant. Historically, fortified wines have dominated the production in the Azores.

One side of Antonio Maçanita’s lineage comes from these islands. Wine making here is a work of passion and historical importance to him. Additionally, he makes wine in Alentejo and the Douro. No one in the Azores is crafting modern wines in the same way, nor reaching the heights of quality that Maçanita does. He is a true vanguard.

The 2018 Branco Vulcanico is an absolute gem. Made from Arinto dos Açores and Verdelho, the wine is the embodiment of terroir; exotic minerals, sea salt, the very essence of the ocean leap out, touching every sensory receptor. Tropical fruit and soft citrus surge about on a beam of ample, yet restrained natural acidity. Ethereal is the exact word for the Branco Vulcanico, so delicate, yet so present, one wonders if it is truly of this world.

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