Álvaro de Castro, a maverick self-trained winemaker, is a pioneer of quality estate wine growing and leading light in the Dão region. The former engineer inherited vineyards in 1980 and was the first member in his family to produce a wine under the name of his estate in 1989. Today he owns three estates in the Dão’s Serra da Estrela sub-region - Quintas de Saes, Pellada and Outeiro.
Castro was joined by his daughter Maria Castro in 2000, who now oversees winemaking and the vineyards, which have been cultivated without chemicals for years. Totalling around 60ha, the vines are aged between 3 and 65 years and sit at an average altitude of 550m. The traditional grape varieties – Encruzado, Cercial, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro, Baga and field blend (with over 30 different grape varieties) - are planted on granite soil with sand, clay and quartz. The wines are made with minimal intervention and age beautifully. Terroir-driven, very pure, even Castro’s entry level wines brim with character.