The Azores Wine Company Team consists of three partners, people deeply connected to the Azores, who inevitably crossed paths because they share two great passions: wine and gastronomy, to which they dedicate a large part of their lives.
Winemaker António Maçanita, with one foot in the Alentejo and another in the Azores, is known for liking challenges. With over 15 vintages under his belt, António Maçanita is a self-made man with a solid career based on the consistency of the Fitapreta project (Alentejo wines), which he developed in the Alentejo, complemented by the more recent wine projects in the Douro "Maçanita – Irmãos & Enólogos" (together with his sister, winemaker Joana Maçanita) and in the Azores, with the Azores Wine Company.
The quality of his winemaking and wines have been recognised and highlighted in Portugal and abroad.
In 2016, the three wine companies produced around 350,000 bottles, exported to more than 20 countries. António Maçanita also provides consultancy services in oenology and viticulture to around 15 projects throughout Portugal.
Winemaker António Maçanita has done very important work in preserving and publicising the indigenous and exclusive grape varieties of the Azores, proving the enormous potential of Azores varieties and the Azores Terroir in producing exceptional white wines.
Filipe Rocha, Azores native and founding partner of the Azores Wine Company, was born in July 1977 on the island of S. Miguel, where he lived until he was 18, when he entered the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where he graduated in Economics. At the end of 1999 he returned to his native island to start his professional life, working in the commercial and investment analysis areas.
In 2004 he was invited to be the Executive Director of the “Escola de Formação Turística e Hoteleira dos Açores” (Azores Hotel and Tourism Training School), at the time a project that was only two years old. Since then and until the end of 2016 he has dedicated himself to the areas of catering, wine tasting, hospitality and tourism, making a decisive contribution to transforming professional training in the region and promoting Azores wines both nationally and internationally.
He fell in love with the vineyards of Pico Island and the challenge of making the wines of the Azores widely known. The friendship with António Maçanita and Paulo Machado, and the seduction of a challenge that would transform and recover the vineyards and the wine culture in the Azores, are the motivation for the intense days of work. He is currently financially responsible for the Azores Wine Company and supports the projects of the António Maçanita Winemaker Group.
Paulo Machado, founding partner of the Azores Wine Company, was born on the island of Pico in 1974, and is the fourth generation of a family with a deep connection to the culture of vines and wine on the island of Pico. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the University of the Azores and did a Post-Graduation in Oenology at the School of Biotechnology of the Catholic University in Porto. In 2006 he founded the company Insula Vinus, with the aim of producing and marketing wines from the Azores.
The viticulture and oenology project has grown with its own vineyards and a small winemaking facility. From early on, he sought to do things his own way, seeking further knowledge in the world of wine and vineyards.
He took part in various initiatives held in the Azores, and deepened his friendship with Filipe Rocha and António Maçanita, with whom, in 2013, the opportunity arose to work in partnership. The Insula Private Selection and the first Arinto dos Açores by António Maçanita, still under Fitapreta's Signature Series, are launched on the market. Two special editions that mark the beginning of a new era in Pico wines.
Insula currently maintains its winemaking and service provision activities, and until 2019 it was on its premises that the wines of the Azores Wine Company project were produced. Paulo Machado is in charge of the enormous responsibility of working on site on the recovery and conservation of the vineyards in “currais” (traditional dry-stone walls), their planting and maintenance, transforming the landscape to contribute to the return of the economy and culture of Azores wines and the indigenous varieties of the Azores region, always maintaining the focus on the historical wines of Pico Island.