The reality of Portuguese terroir is brought home by a visit to Quinta Sant’Ana. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Touriga Nacional, Arinto and more all grow on this small estate 30 minutes from Lisbon. The secret is the topography (below)
and vision of James Frost who arrived twenty years ago to resurrect the estate his father-in-law Baron Gustav von Fürstenberg bought in the 1960s.
The wines are all clean and precise with crisp acidities from this maritime appellation which benefits from a natural air conditioner courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean 10Km away. These are the kinds of wines that make Portuguese vinho serious competitors to New World producers in Australia, New Zealand and SA. The grapes and styles are all familiar and the wines top notch.
In October, the Lisbon wine region will be taking wines like these on a road trip to Mozambique and South Africa. In July the destinations are Angola and Namibia. After five hundred years, the Portuguese are returning to Southern Africa bringing wine instead of padrãos this time.