Quinto do Javali 'Crazy' Branco
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Douro Valley, Portugal
Quinta do Javali is a unicorn-level unique destination pioneering an entirely different view of how to represent terroir in the Douro Valley. At its peak, 700-plus meters above the Douro River, on a rock pile overlooking the steeply sloped Clos Fonte do Santo vineyard stands António Mendes Sr. He’s worked this family-owned farm of 25 hectares since 1982 and his land has been under vines since the 1650s. Against this pristine backdrop, António has created one of the most forward-thinking wine projects happening in Portugal today. As he speaks about his vision for his land, his wines, and his family, he can’t help but contain a natural, bubbling enthusiasm that wells from deep within and can be heard several vineyards over. He is a larger-than-life, passionate man of strong conviction.
The vineyards are guided by slabs of slate, plowed by horse, and tilled by wild pigs (Javali in Portuguese). Work in the vineyards is guided by the celestial cadence of Steiner’s calendar and monitored by meteorological stations installed throughout the property. Viticulture is certified organic and biodynamic… a unique practice in the Douro Valley.