Quinta da Boavista/ João Tavares de Pina
In the untamed and high-altitude, eastern part of the Dão plateau lives winemaker and horse-breeder João Tavares de Pina. A farmer by trade but pioneer in spirit, João is one of the most singular characters in our roster whose wines and business practices never cease to surprise and entertain us.
João has two primary brands that he sells wine under; Rufia, and Torres de Tavares. Rufia wines tend to be fresh and drinkable young, while Torre de Tavares are more structured and textured wines.
He works about 13 hectares of vines on granite and shale clay soils but currently produces wine out of only 4 of them, the rest being used to nurse back a host of recently planted but ancient indigenous varieties. Farming is done without any synthetics, with all disease- and pest control left up to the surrounding forests and the wild herbs and flowers growing between vines.
In the cellar, João’s practices are equally low-interventionist. He relies on spontaneous fermentation without additions or temperature control, mostly in tanks and old barrels, and doesn’t fine or filter. Sulfites are added in small amounts right before bottling, although the more classically styled ‘Terras de Tavares’ range sees a touch more than the young ‘Rufia’ and ‘Tretas’ wines.