Sem Igual (without equal), the ideal, aspiration, in the name of wine that guides the determination to do things differently. But what to do differently? Merely differently from the traditional, from the popular, from the usual wines of the Vinho Verde region, different from what the family did, over the course of four generations. Different from the family's wine tradition, João Camizão wanted to make “a more innovative wine, conceived as a white wine, with high acidity and a long and persistent finish”. Today it is João and his wife Leila, companion of this adventure, who turns into wine the will and the belief to do something different, but to do well, and to live in the skin of the vineyard, in the sun and in the rain, to live with the feet on the land, hands on plants and the spirit transposed in the personality of the wines.
The conviction was such that led João to be the first of the various branches of the family, to live on the farm in Meinedo, Lousada, in the Vale do Sousa sub-region, which had about 2 hectares of vineyards with more than 50 years, and since 2011, over 8 hectares have been planted with Azal and Arinto, on a hillside with southern exposure. Along the way, the label design has already won an award at the International Design Awards.
But to do what you want, you have to know what you do, it is not enough to simply have the taste, and then in a snap of fingers everything is put as we want. João lived in the world of technologies, of IT, and from that world he returned from India and after being properly consulted and authorized by the family, rolled up his sleeves, advanced on the path of white wine, without gas, structured and full-bodied, very dry, with the ability to evolve in time.
As rational is also part of the equation, he did a Postgraduate Course in Viticulture and Oenology at the Faculty of Sciences of Porto, and was supported by Jorge Sousa Pinto, an experienced winemaker in the region's wines, also with sense and vision. to do something different.
Even the combination of wine varieties is unparalleled. In these wines, the matrix is based on two indigenous grape varieties in the region, which, when well prepared, stimulate the appearance of beautiful white wines, with important acidity, Pedernã, local name of Arinto and Azal, in combinations according to the whims of each year.
The meticulous work of vintage, of several passages, balancing and uniting varied maturities, made with little intervention in the cellar and spontaneous fermentation, was then different. “The wine starts in the vineyard and ends in the mouth. It is in the vineyard and in the mouth that we focus.” Warning for those who do not know the wines, know what they are going to. Should not be expected to be exuberant or quaint tropical, but vigor and assertiveness, of intense acidity, in most cases not less than 7 gr / l.
As innovation is also made from tradition, and taking the name Sem Igual to the letter and adding its restless attitude, in 2017, the trellis vines, or branches, with 50 to 70 years of age, were for the first time harvested separately, and finished in two versions, Sem Igual Ramadas Metal (made in stainless steel) and Sem Igual Ramadas Wood (with aging in French oak barrels).
From the tradition comes “Sem Mal”, in which malolactic fermentation took place in a bottle, in which João, with his provocative and unique style, wanted to show how wines were made more than 60 years ago, the wine results very close the “natural wine” concept, with cloudy wine due to non-filtration and a little “needle”, high acidity (8.2 gr / l) and low alcohol content (11.1% vol) and minimum sulfur dioxide. The protagonist here is Azal. Containing the cork, a "buckle" or metal clip, as in the past.
The sparkling wine is already available, some red grape varieties were recently planted, Baga is one of them, so it is to be hoped for more ... Without Equal (Sem igual in portuguese).