Vasco Croft

General manager / owner

Born in Lisbon with an inclination for metaphysics, Vasco thought of being an astrologer in his teens, then decided to become an architect. In his twenties he discovered Steiner’s philosophy, and went on to study pedagogy and sculpture in England, where he also discovered an interest in woodworking and furniture design. On his come back to Portugal, he led the Waldorf movement for many years alongside with his own furniture design company. In his thirties he had a life changing encounter with a Buddhist monk, where a bottle of wine was shared. This event, taken by Vasco as  a personal meeting with Dionysus, led him in 2003 to start a wine project in Casal do Paço,  a  semi-abandoned property belonging to his family since the 17th century. A confessed convert to Biodynamics and Dionysism, there are (undeserved!) suspicions that Vasco is a Faun in disguise, living a delightful decadent life in the winery surrounded by beautiful Nymphs – while wishing this would be true, he tries to cope with the manifold hardships of running a winery. 

Miguel Viseu

Winemaker / Sales manager

Son of a wine producer in Douro, Miguel grew up between vines, cellars, imbibing the fascination of working routines around wine in his early years. Trained as an agronomist and specialized in winemaking, he gave free rein to his adventurous spirit, travelling  the wide world for ten years in a quest to gather experience and inspiration for perfecting his art. Having worked with people such as Paul Hobbs and Sean O’Callaghan, and in places ranging from Napa Valley to Burgundy, Brasil and Tuscanny, Miguel became an all rounded experienced winemaker. 

Having developed an inclination towards ecological viticulture, biodynamics and natural wines, Miguel wholeheartedly accepted Aphros invitation to return to his home country in 2017, to embrace this utopia as his own for a long term project.

Tiago Sampaio

Consultant winemaker

Grandson of a producer in Douro and holding a Phd in viticulture and oenology by the Oregon University, Tiago Sampaio is one of the most brilliant winemakers and producers of the new generation in Portugal. Having returned to Portugal 12 years ago to start his own project with old vines belonging to his family, Tiago has since then focused in making organic viticulture and natural wines. Having won the Aphros’ team admiration through the vibrancy of his wines, Tiago was asked to join it as a consultant and creative partner since 2017, adding precious insights to the fine tuning of the classical wines and for the creation of new one.

Dominique Massenot

Biodynamic viticulture consultant

With a solid work of research and consultancy over several decades, covering the whole of France and many other countries, Dominique is a main reference for biodynamic viticulture worldwide. He is also the main responsible for education programmes within Biodyvin association. Standing out as much forhis expertise and vision as for the clarity and simplicity employed in the sharing his knowledge, Dominique’s counselling ranges from the most basic material aspects in a farm (soils, drainage, tools), to the most subtle ones, concerning the precise use of plants, planetary calendar and BD preparations.

Alberto Araújo

Viticulture manager

Born and raised in Casal do Paço as a farm boy, amidst vines, animals and forests, Alberto reminds us of a mythical Titan, completely in tune with Nature’s forces. In charge of all the practical works of agriculture, he also manages all the machines and looks after the animals and bees. He supervised all the restructuring of our 4 farms, including re-shaping, re-planting and water management (all by gravity). He has wild boars at home as his pets (not a joke), and knows when to treat the vines by feeling the humidity in his nose and looking at his boots. With seeming effortlessness he performs the jobs of several people without flaws. Having worked for over 20 years in the field of long distance transports, he has accepted to integrate the Aphros project not only because it spoke to his “farmer’s heart” – he also wanted his children to be able to watch and understand the work he does.

Antonieta Thedim

Wine tourism

Trained as a lawyer, life paths required her to work mainly as an actress or model most of her life. Until Aphros called her, in need for feminine grace and beauty in its ranks.
Besides hosting our guests in the rural tourism apartments in Casal do Paço, and receiving groups for tours and wine tastings, Antonieta is known as the guardian angel to everyone else in the team. She can be seen giving a helping hand in the office, in the fields, in the cellar or in wine fairs, with the most beautiful smile ever seen.