Description 1 of 2

João Ramos is one of Portugal's superstar winemakers. He's also an eloquent ambassador for the wines of Portugal, and I caught up with him at a recent trade fair to taste through the range of wines he makes. These come from one of the regions spearheading the emergence of Portuguese wines in the world market, the Alentejo. It's a warm-climate region, and many of the new wines from here have a distinct 'new world' twist to them. In addition to his own wines, Ramos also consults for a number of other wineries. Highly fluent in English, he's an eloquent chap and was kind enough to spend more time than he needed to talking me through each of the wines. His focus is primarily on Portugal's indigenous grape varieties; and his goal is simply to improve quality year on year ('I'm not a philosopher, I'm a wine maker'). These are truly modern-styled wines, with striking, up-front fruit flavours – Description from mriskic

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Description 2 of 2

The beauty of the Alentejo plain, its culture, hunting and its rich gastronomic tradition make Estremoz a captivating region. Founded in 1258 by King Afonso III, it was home to King Dinis. One of its early prominent citizens was Vasco da Gama. He was appointed commanding officer of the fleet that discovered the sea route to India. In the very heart of the Alto Alentejo, the soil that originated from schist and limestone clay as well as the climate with its continental influence, make for unusually consistent quality, and ideal conditions for exceptional wine growing. This was the location chosen by João Portugal Ramos to make his own wines, after a long career as consultant oenologist in wine creation in the main wine-growing regions of Portugal. João Portugal Ramos began planting his own vineyards around Monte da Caldeira in 1990, choosing the double cordon for vine spacing. Since then the area covered by vineyards has increased, with the prime objective of obtaining from each vintage a selection of grapes capable of producing exceptional wines. In average, vineyards are planted since 1997. For the reds, the chosen grape varieties have been Aragonês, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Castelão and Alicante Bouschet, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Merlot, although in smaller quantities. In the minority, white wines originate from the varieties Antão Vaz, Arinto, Roupeiro and Rabo de Ovelha. Own vineyards and long-term agreements with local producers contribute to form a total of 300 hectares, with the viticultural department being responsible for the entire technical management: choosing the plots of land, selecting the grape varieties, following closely the development of vineyards and preparing harvest. – Description from Stephanie516

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