2011 is the start-up year of Maçanita Vinhos, two siblings, two winemakers in the Douro Valley. Joana Maçanita and António Maçanita felt like foreigners in this vast region full of tradition, customs and craft. The Maçanita siblings arrived in the Douro with a blank slate, eager to explore and unveil the diversity of the land.
Over the course of the years, Maçanita Vinhos has uncovered, with its wines, the diversity of the terroir of the Douro Valley in its purest and most faithful form. The wines of Maçanita share each facet of the Douro with the world, the “high-altitude Douro", the "hot schist Douro", the "cold granite Douro", the indigenous grape varieties, and the wines from old vines with a non-interventionist approach.
Maçanita Vinhos doesn’t follow a style or even set its own, it respects and is a faithful messenger of the Douro terroirs, a vision of the Douro "Á Maçanita".
The Maçanita Vinhos project was created by the Maçanita siblings in the Douro in 2011. Working side by side in over 14 wineries around the country, Joana and António wanted the Maçanita project to reflect the experiences and aspirations of the two siblings and winemakers. Lots of laughter, lots of arguments and a ethos of questioning the existing way of doing things.
How to showcase the Douro? Is it old vines or new vines? Grapes Letra A or Letra F? Are the grapes for a Vintage wine the best grapes for a table wine?
These were questions that we asked, in trying to truly understand the terroir. These collaborative wines had to incorporate all these Douros.
The Douro is a region of mountainous terrain, with a very wide variety of altitudes. It starts on the west side of Portugal, about 50 km from the sea, and ends near the Spanish border.
With a wide variation in temperatures across its territory. It is largely home to blueschist soils, but also possess granite outcrops in the higher areas. This set of factors that independently combine in multiple ways brings about a great diversity of terroirs.
The Douro is also very famous for its old vineyards. The Maçanita Vinhos project explored this attribute of the Douro further by acquiring nearly 150 year old vineyard in the Carlão area, an area catalogued as Letra F vineyards (apparently the least appreciated of the Douro vineyards).
Vineyards with more than 17 grape varieties that speak of the Douro of the past, the Douro of the farmer where "Wines for Consumption" were made, the so-called table wines, which did not have the quality to produce Port Wine.
Continuing to explore the Douro, Maçanita found Letra A vineyards near the Douro River on schist soils with the Touriga Nacional grape variety. According to the history of the Douro, the perfect cocktail for grapes of great concentration and power. Would this be the right terroir? Could this terroir only be for Port wine? Why not for table wine? Another welcome challenge for the Maçanita siblings' project.
White wines were also a great challenge for the siblings and winemakers in a region as hot as the Douro. Being great lovers of fresh wines, it was in the vineyards at an altitude of 700 metres that they found another Douro terroir with a very particular salinity and minerality that could not be left out of the Maçanita project in the Douro region.
Maçanita wines are full of the various terroirs of the Douro without ever forgetting the preferences, passion, and vision of each of the siblings, since the human factor is also important in a terroir. António's oxidative Malvasia Fina or Joana's fresh, high-altitude Gouveio are an example of the vision of the Maçanita project in the Douro.