RIO TORTO, DOURO, PORTUGAL
I'm asked what is my favourite wine quite a lot and my answer is simple - Quinta de Macedos' Pinga do Torto. It is lovely, don't get me wrong, in fact, it is a fabulous wine, but (and I hope Paul Reynolds doesn't mind me saying this) it isn't the greatest wine ever made, nor is it the best wine he makes. However, when I visited Quinta de Macedos nearly a decade ago, I was standing overlooking the vineyards the grapes were picked in, drinking the wine made in the winery behind me, and I finally got what wine was about. The land, the climate, the people, the whole experience - it was my eureka moment and because of that, it is my favourite wine.
The old vineyard at Macedos was planted between 1920 and 1945 in the Torto valley. The crop was sold to large port shippers for many years, but in 2000 Paul Reynolds took over and switched the focus to table wine, and the results are outstanding. Their entry level Pinga do Torto is an accessible every day wine, a blend of the estates old and young vines. The Lagar de Macedos is made out of their 1945 planted field blend, a very drinkable, richer style of wine, and the Quinta de Macedos is made of their ancient vines fruit, foot trodden and an intense wine that can age wonderfully.