Our New South African Wine Gets Blog Blessings

Monday, 12. July 2010 16:28


Our new South African wine, Botanica, got attention this morning in a great South African wine blog, Grape.  Blogger Melvyn Minaar notes in his post that this boutique winery has really created an excellent wine in it’s Botanica Chenin Blanc 2009.  Producer, Ginny Povall has put a lot of heart and soul into this wine and her lovely vineyard at Protea Heights Farm, in Devon Valley.

We are delighted to hear this fantastic wine and wine-maker are getting some much-deserved press! Check out their website for information on the vineyard, upcoming events and US retailers and distributors.

Category:Our Wines Through the Grape Vine | Comments (2)


Friday, 9. July 2010 16:40

garrafa (pt)/ botella (sp) means BOTTLE

Funny because both words resemble words we use in English to describe similar objects. Garrafa and carafe clearly originated from the same word and botella and bottle seem to have also stemmed from the same word. How’s that for a little latin flavor?

Category:Uncategorized, Vinho/Vino Vernacular | Comment (0)

It’s Our Wine, and We’ll Taste It (even if you don’t want us to)

Friday, 9. July 2010 14:39


The wonderful Eric Asimov wrote an interesting article in the NYT (“When the First Sip is the Sommelier’s, Not Yours”) about sommelier’s at fine dining establishments tasting their customers wine from the bottle they are about to be served.  The article seemed to split with 2 perspectives.  The consumer seems to feel either put off, demeaned or just plain weirded out by this practice.  The professionals, including Mr. Asimov himself, think it’s in the customers’ best interest and actually their job to ensure that the wine is perfect.  I’m personally torn.  There is an indescribable pleasure in being the first to taste a wine and have all of it’s characteristics slowly come through on your palate.  People who love wine love this moment and it feels personal.  That being said, nothing is worse than a corked bottle. Totally ruins vibe and, be honest, you’re probably a little peeved.  I’m not sure that this will ever be a universally accepted (modern) practice, but as Mr. Asimov points out, it was the law of the land in the days of monarchs and so I wonder: Fit for a King but not for us??

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Let’s start with the basics…VINHO/VINO

Thursday, 8. July 2010 16:19

vinho (pt)/vino (sp) means, what else but, WINE.

tinto (pt) & rojo (sp) –> RED

branco (pt) & blanco (pt) –> WHITE

espumante(pt)espumoso/Cava(based on sp region) –>SPARKLING


May be a little rudimentary, but good to know nonetheless.  I promise we will get more technical with time!

Category:Vinho/Vino Vernacular | Comment (0)

Vinho/Vino Vernacular

Thursday, 8. July 2010 13:08

I’ve been trying to think of ways to get the general public as excited about our wines as we are.  I considered trading free bottles for posts (because who doesn’t, almost indiscriminately, like something free) but realized that might not be the most logical approach.  Then I thought that maybe a little “word of the day”, if you will, might have people feeling a little more in the loop.  It may not seem like much, but at least you’ll have some international wine lingo to throw around at your next dinner party/tasting/trip to the wine shop.  Keep me posted on what you thinks of this…

Category:Vinho/Vino Vernacular | Comment (0)

Portuguese Government and Wine Makers Get Serious about Spreading the Love

Tuesday, 6. July 2010 14:57


As some of you may know, this winter the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture came together with many Portuguese wine makers in order to offer governmental support for this burgeoning industry.  Many have blamed lack of government funding for the industry as a main reason for its limited international exposure.  All the great wine producing countries get government support and we’re glad to see the Portuguese have seen light!

Another great thing to come out of this partnership is the Wines of Portugal website.  Created to spread the word for the  Instituto do Vinho e da Vinha (IVV) (with its other collaborators), the website shows a group committed to bringing Portuguese wine into the 21st century.  The site is clean and succinct, with a great new logo.  I recommend watching the video under “The Brand Section”.  It’s a medley of different wine producers speaking about why they LOVE Portuguese wines.  A few of the Douro Boys, whom we posted about last week, are interviewed too.  Enjoy!!

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My First Trip to the Douro Region…and Certainly Not My Last

Friday, 2. July 2010 12:22

This is a little late, but I wanted to share with everyone how wonderful my first trip to the Douro region was!  This year we fit in one night up north in Pinhão, in the breath-takingly beautiful river valley and it was just enough to whet my appetite for another, more extensive trip!

We stayed at the most amazing “quinta” (Portuguese vineyard) converted into a hotel.  The CS Vintage House Hotel was beautiful and immaculately run.  Rooms were plush with all modern amenities but an old world feel.  Afternoon cocktails on the patio with fantastic views of the river and the dry heat of the valley was über relaxing.

That night we had dinner at Portugal’s only 2 star Michellin rated restaurant and one of my all time favorirtes, DOC.  The menu was superb and showcased the regions wonderful local delicacies and, obviously, had an outstanding wine list. Set on the Douro, the views were spectacular and it was a complete sensory experience.

The next morning (after a terrific night’s sleep on heavenly mattresses), we walked into the quaint little town and had a simple lunch of local, traditional food.  After that, we stopped in at the hotel’s wine shop and got some wonderful bottles for friends and headed out.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and I would recommend it to anyone.  As someone who’s been to Portugal my whole life and traveled the country from north to south, this trip was one of my absolute favorites.  Meandering through the valley to reach the hotel was spectacular and, alone, worth the ride.  Hope you all consider for a trip in the near future…you won’t be disappointed!!

Hotel: CS Vintage House Hotel

Restaurant: DOC

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CNN Recognizes Portuguese Wine Thanks to Douro Boys

Friday, 2. July 2010 10:41

Douro Boys CNN

“Douro Boys: The Best of Portuguese Wine in Macau” was a great story to come across while perusing one of my favorite news sites!  A young group of legacy wine makers took it upon themselves in 2005 to band together and travel the world to promote their life’s work and passion: their families’ wines from the Douro region.  The Douro Boys are the kind of wine enthusiasts we love to hear about: passionate, creative and bold.   So excited to see that there are young, Portuguese wine ambassadors out there, proselytizing with a passion!

Check out their website to learn more!

Category:Portugal in the Press | Comments (1)

Herdade do Rocim Receives Top Marks from Famed Wine Critic, Jamie Goode

Friday, 18. June 2010 17:36

Jamie Goode’s reviews of our Herdade do Rocim wines, Olho de Mocho Reserva’s (Branco and Tinto) and Rocim 2006, were excellent.  All three received top marks and Goode provides wonderful descriptions of the wines, which serve as another reference for curious wine enthusiasts!  We love to see our wines getting the well deserved press and Goode also mentions the wine tourism project Herdade do Rocim operates on their beautiful estate.  The vineyard’s location in the Alentejo contributes to some of the notable flavors in the wines.  The berry notes and sweeter flavors are characteristic of the region and offer a distinguishing similarity between the regions many fantastic wines.

Check out the reviews for yourselves and the Herdade do Rocim website to get more info on this great vineyard!

Olho de Mocho (Tinto, Branco and Rosé)

Olho de Mocho (Tinto, Branco and Rosé)

Category:Awards, News, Our Reviews | Comment (0)

Iberia Wine Gets Robert Parkers Attention…

Friday, 28. May 2010 9:20


8 of our wines were rated by the respected palate of Mr. Robert Parker.
Iberia is a small company among corporate giants making its way as the small guys trying to put Portugal on the map. Iberia was founded to bring a diverse selection of the best wines from Portugal to the United States. The founders Carlos Mouta and Fernando Ferreira traveled from the Alvarinho region in the north to the southernmost region of the Algarve. Portugal is producing great value wines that are exciting and unique. With tough economic times consumers are looking for the best quality for their money, and Portugal sure does deliver! The challenge with these wines is the varietals that are indigenous to Portugal. Portugal has been called the land of 250 varietals with varieties that are delicious to tastes but difficult to pronounce. For the adventurous wine drinking this is quite a journey!

Category:Awards, Our Wines Through the Grape Vine | Comments (3)