OK. We need to talk a little about Portugal. For way too long, this beautiful, small country on the Atlantic coast has been overshadowed by its bigger, bolder, noisier Spanish neighbour, which, although more than capable of making absolutely stunning wines, has stolen a lot of the attention from the Portuguese wineries for far too long.

Wineries like Casa da Passarella, where extremely high-quality wines have been made since the 1890s, and yet the international wine drinking community are only just starting to discover and celebrate.

Maybe it’s got something to do with Portugal’s relative timidity, or the fact that their wine industry has always been dominated by Port… who knows why these wines have sat in the shadows for so long. Whatever the reasons, we’re more than happy that Casa da Passarella is reaching us here in Australia, bringing their distinctly Portuguese flavours down under.

Casa da Passarella is based in the Dao Valley, home of Portugal’s finest wines. Here, mineral rich soils and Atlantic breezes allow indigenous grapes to grow slowly, ripen beautifully, and pack in loads of expressive features of this unique part of Europe. The winery has had its ups and downs, and practically went to ruin in the latter part of the 20th century.

However, it was rescued by visionary winemaker Paulo Nunes in 2007, who sensed the winds of fashion swinging round to the Portuguese wine industry, and recognised the vast potential this pretty and ancient estate had for producing superb, modern, complex wines which blended the past with the present, and stunningly represented the region.

If you’ve yet to explore the spectacular wines of this quirky corner of Europe, and want to get into the produce of this newly fascinating country, then Casa da Passarella is the perfect place to start


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