Luis Pato could be considered a bit of a rock star, or a rebel who is continually pushing the boundries within the vineyard, the cellar or even with the authorities.
Producing his first vintage in 1980, by 1985 he was experimenting with destemming and maturation in new French oak, unheard of in the region. In 1988 he took this one step further and began to replant ungrafted vines to better understand pre-phylloxera wines, then in 1990, Luis was the first in the region to green harvest, seen as sacreligious at the time by his peers.
His father, João Pato was the first winegrower in the Bairrada region after its demarcation in 1970, however in 1999 Luis chose to leave the Bairrada DOC and revert his bottlings to the regional Beiras PDO after differences of opinon with the regional authorities.
Defiant or driven? The 2000's have seen him continue to evolve and turn what a winemaker is on its head. Dedicated? Definitely.
Vinhas Velhas Branca is crafted from 3 native varietals to the Bairrada region in Portugal. Bical, which is grown on chalky-clay soils, is early ripening and quite aromatic. Cerceal, grown on sand, is late ripening with high acidity and Sercialinho, also grown on sand, also quite acidic, is a cross created in the 1950s between Sercial (used for Madeira) and Alvarinho.
Each grape adds their own personaility to the blend, as all good blends should, and on this particular occasion the result of Luis' labours is a mouth watering, summer fun, crisp white. There is a nice texture of fleshy peach in the mouth emboldened by some time in barrel, which is complimented by the fresh citrus aromas of lemon, lime and grapefruit, as well as the aforementioned wood and a bit of toastiness.
Origin: Beiras PDO / Bairrada / Spain
Grapes: Bical (50%), Cerceal (25%), Sercialinho (25%)