The only wine of the region is produced in a lovely little village, of only 300 inhabitants, a few kilometers from Bragança. A wine that holds all the splendor of the local colors, in its complexity and nature, bringing great joy to the people and delight to the wine lovers. Welcome to Parada de Infanções.
Those who learn the available information on this producer, will be surprised by the overwhelming bond that they hold their roots. Instead of speaking of the castes (over twenty, some of them still unkown), they talk about those who helped rebuild the only wine cellar of this little village of 300 inhabitants, known as Parada de Infanções, close to Bragança, in the North of Portugal. And so we get to know Toninho, the President of the Parish Council, or Agustinha, the neighbor from next door, full of personality. And don’t forget Ms. Ana, grocer and talented Fado singer. Instead of naming the hectares of vineyards, they talk about their legacy. They speak of the mother church, the parish church, the romain bridge and of the festivities and pilgrimage of the Christian calendar: Festa do Ramo, Festa do Carro, Festa da Rosca and Galhofa, the carol of Os Reis e o Entrudo.
On social media, the people of the parade, their children and grandchildren, often in France or Lisbon, compliment the wine of the land and type words of encouragement about the Alto do Joa, that is “wonderful!”.
And if it is.
This wine, that in reality, does not belong to one person, but to a community of passionate villagers, grasps all the delights of the rural traditions. The centenary vines, of ungrafted rootstocks, that are over 120 years old, gather castes such as Bastardo, Mourisco, Cornifesto, Tinta Amarela, Alvarelhão, Formosa, Folgasão, Dona Branca, Chasselas Suíça and Jaen.
The result of this exciting ecology, highlighted by the schistous soils, at an altitude of 700 meters, and by the wide temperature range, typical of the region, is a complex product, perfect for the curious ones.
The vinification is done by co-fermenting all the castes, after collecting the best grapes of the harvest. Mills of a thousand liters are used for the foot treading wine press, that is followed by a stage of about two years, in used French oak barrels.
The wine retains great capacity of development on the bottle. Of open color and a very complex aroma in which esteve, broom, heather and dark ripe berries are combined, it reveals a strong acidity and softness that is felt in the mouth untill the finish. A very elegant and unique wine, often compared to the Borgonha wines, brings a singular experience to those who taste it.
Despite the complexity of the vocabulary, there is one thing in which wine connoisseurs, critics and enthusiasts seem to agree on with the friendly people of Parada de Infanções: the Alto de Joa wine is “wonderful!”.