In the cellar, we follow the same philosophy as in the vines, excluding chemical treatments, relying on natural processes, and making a minimal use of soft mechanic operations. Maceration and fermentation for the reds is always made with foot treading in our ancient granite tanks (lagares). We only use indigenous yeasts, and follow as far as possible the best moments for cellar operations (harvesting, bottling, filtering) according to the astronomic calendar. We make a soft filtration just before bottling, and add minimum sulphite quantities (average 50mg/litre for reds, 70 mg/litre for whites) for preserving the wines.
Quinta do Casal do Paço
“A place of power”. Such were the words used by a smiling German visitor, who allowed himself to lag behind his group on the way to the bus, in order to enjoy some moments of quiet intimacy with the Quinta.
Casal do Paço, in Vasco Croft’s since the 17th century, has the soul of an old Quinta, and was the starting point of Aphros project. It spreads over nearly 20 hectares of land and forests, four of which are vines and another four of chestnuts orchards. At its centre stands a granite 16th century 2-storey manor house complete with chapel. The wine cellar on the first floor dates back to the origin of the house.
In October of 2006, the first biodynamic process was implemented marking the beginnings of something that would transform both the farm and its wines.
Casal do Paço is now recognized as a model ecological winery committed to the preservation of its ecosystems that not only include the vines but entire forests of acacias, oaks, eucalyptus and century-old trees, the home of wild boars, foxes and eagles.
Quinta do Espadanal
Quinta do Espadanal is only a few meters away from Casal do Paço, from which it has been separated by a public road. In fact, although the 2 Quintas formed a unity for centuries, each has an individuality of its own. Espadanal is set in an isolated site, higher towards the mountains, and is completely surrounded by forests. It is also a very old Quinta, as testified by the existing remains of a pre-roman site and by the ruins of a very old traditional rural house (16th century). Fully restructured in 2007, it has just 1 Ha of vines (Loureiro), probably the plot of highest quality of all our Quintas, 3 HA of chestnut orchards, and around 2 HA of forest.
Quinta de Casa Nova
Located in the neighboring parish of Refoios, near Ponte de Lima, Casa Nova is a Quinta we have decided to buy when it became clear we needed to increase our production for a self sustained operation. It is a beautiful southfacing and gently sloping property, with around 7Ha of vines in only 2 plots, and has a group of granit houses at its centre, around a central patio covered by vines. This property was fully restructured by us in 2009, when all the vines were replanted according to biodynamic principles. In the near future, we plan to have our main cellar here, as well as a wine bar, to be installed in one of the existing buildings.
Quinta de Valflores
Valflores Quinta is located right above Casa Nova, and belongs to the Bossert family, fro Oregon, USA, with which we agreed to have a long term lease. With 3 Ha of existing vines, in an almost abandoned condition, this property was restructred right after Casa Nova. The old vines were recovered, and 2,5 Ha of new vines planted. There is the curiosity that the parents of the actual owners were friends of the famous Oregon Pinot Noir producer David Lett, who once came to visit them bringing a few shoots of his vines. They are still there, scattered among the Loureiro. In order to preserve such an unusual event in the story of this Quinta, we have decided to plant 0,5 Ha of Pinot, using shoots of the existing vines, from which an Aphros Pinot will one day be born in the future.