By the time Hugo Mendes, a.k.a. ‘The Wizard Apprentice,’ graduated in Biotechnology Engineering in 2005, he had fallen hopelessly
in love with wine. The same year, he joined Quinta da Murta in Portugal’s Arinto epicentre, Bucelas in Lisboa. Learning on the job, by
2010 Hugo had worked his way up from cellar rat to Head Winemaker and made a name for himself with his The Wizard Apprentice blog.
Champing at the bit to work with other native grapes, Hugo launched his own crowd-funded micro-negociant label in 2016 and, in 2019, left Quinta da Murta to develop the range, which hails from Lisboa, Tejo and Alentejo (and watch this space!). Hugo likes to work with local varieties and weaves his magic on Lisboa’s traditional work horse varieties - Fernão Pires and Vital – as well as noble Arinto. In Tejo, he is busy elevating Castelão and in Alentejo has produced an accomplished talha wine for his ‘Underdog’ label with his (and our) friends, XXVI Talhas.