The philosophy of the Azores Wine Company is to bring the world to the Azores and to share the Azores with the world! Taste the Azores in a glass of wine... taste our "land" and our "sea".
The history of the Azores Wine Company began with a project to recover the Terrantez do Pico variety in 2010, by winemaker António Maçanita and culminates with the foundation of the company on 3 April 2014, together with Filipe Rocha, Paulo Machado.
The three partners of Azores Wine Company are deeply connected to the Azores and inevitably crossed paths because they share two great passions: wine and gastronomy, to which they dedicate a large part of their lives.
The production of Pico wines, the recovery of an endangered grape variety, the promotion of wines, gastronomy and tourism in the Azores are some of the projects they are involved in.
Winemaker António Maçanita has a long relationship with the Azores, due to a childhood of holidays spent on São Miguel and a failed attempt to plant a vineyard in 2000, when he was only 20 years old.
In 2010, four years before the foundation of the Azores Wine Company, nonconformist and wanting to do something different, he recovered an indigenous Azores grape variety that was practically lost in the archipelago, the Terrantez do Pico, in a joint project with the Agricultural Development Services of São Miguel. The recovery of the Terrantez do Pico variety is at the origin of the Azores Wine Company's history, being the birthplace of its philosophy: to recover indigenous grape varieties from the Azores and return them to the world.
Currently, the recovery of the Azores' indigenous grape varieties, located mostly on Pico Island, make up the typical profile of Azores wines.
Completely unique, the almost extinct Terrantez do Pico variety reveals itself with surprising freshness, minerality and salinity. The small supply of this wine full of identity and authenticity has travelled to several countries and is now available in some of the best wine shops and top restaurants. The Azores and its wines have made a big entrance!
This work was continued in 2013 by joint project between Fitapreta Vinhos and Insula Vinus, shortly before the creation of the Azores Wine Company. It focuses on the production of an Azores wine based on another grape variety native to the Region: Arinto dos Açores.
Working together, with their friendship and common wish to give back to the Azores, and in particular to Pico Island the notoriety of other times, challenges them to create a new Azores wines project, and the Azores Wine Company History began.
In 2014, the Azores Wine Company produced around 10,000 bottles.
The white Arinto dos Açores and Verdelho O Original monovariety from the Rare Grapes Collection, represented more than half of production. However, the Azores Wine Company also innovated with its Volcanic Series of red and rosé Azores wines.
The history of the Azores Wine Company also includes the first sparkling wine from the Azores, made in 2011 in the Terrantez do Pico project and, the Pico sparkling wine, made from the Arinto dos Açores grape variety in 2014.
Then work was carried out in the area of fortified wines, trying to recreate the famous Pico wines that travelled the world more than 400 years ago.
The Azores Wine Company project is based on the uniqueness, exclusivity and history of Azores wines. The founders of the Azores Wine Company theorised that there was great potential for quality in terms of grape varieties, terroir and existing wines in the Azores. This project has confirmed that by combining their knowledge with the experimentation of their misgivings, wines can be produced on a level that no one would have dared to dream of in the Azores Region.
This is the mission, this is the fundamental drive of the Azores Wine Company project!
A large part of the Azores Wine Company's project involves the recovery of about 100 hectares of vines on Pico Island, soon to become the largest private producer in the Azores.
In addition to its own vineyards, the company has links with around two dozen local winegrowers.
In the medium term, the Azores Wine Company produces around 150,000 bottles per year, highlighting the excellence of the Azores grape varieties, namely Arinto dos Açores, Terrantez do Pico, Verdelho, and Saborinho. Equally important is the production of rosé and red wines, which, because of the Azores terroir, have a fresh profile that set the new trends.
The Azores Wine Company project is also a tribute to History and to the heroes who shaped the impressive Pico Island Vineyards Landscape, building thousands of dry-stone walls called “currais” as far as the eye can see, in which the "impossible" was done, and which today is one of the 14 wine regions classified by UNESCO as World Heritage.
This is the focus of the Azores Wine Company, unique Azores wines, full of identity, pure, fresh, challenging and with a touch of salt... just as life should be!