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Aphros Loureiro is a bracingly aromatic Vinho Verde from northern Portugal, which makes for a great summer apéritif. Produced using entirely biodynamic principles, its gorgeous acidity and fragrance captures the spirit of the Atlantic breeze.
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When you smell Aphros Loureiro, you experience a bracingly aromatic wine. You will not miss the layers of zesty lemon, fresh pear and white flowers. The minerality on the nose comes through discreet notes of smoke.
When you taste Aphros Loureiro, you savor the coolness of the Atlantic breeze blending with the purity and precision of granite. The clarity of aromas and a razor sharp acidity, typical of the region, gives us a wine that can seduce even the more nuanced palates.
The Aphros vineyards are situated in northern Portugal, in the historic Minho province. This region is the birthplace of the famous Portuguese vinho verde, or “green” wine. Its proximity to the Atlantic ocean and temperate climate make the area green in its own right, as the heavy rainfall and low insolation come together to create a lush, damp, verdant countryside. This environment lends itself perfectly to the maturation of the grapes that make up the renowned crisp, fresh, effervescent wines of the Vinho Verde appellation.
The pioneering Aphros winery sits on the valley of the Limia river, which adds an extra level of moisture to the granitic soils of the vineyards. The plot covers around twenty hectares in total, of which six are taken up with vines, four with chestnut trees, and the rest a vibrant sprawl of abundant forests. Acacias, oaks, and eucalyptus give shelter to the local wildlife, maintaining the vast biodiversity that is the essence of Aphros Wines. The vineyards are planted with the Loureiro, Arinto, Vinhão, and Alvarelhão varieties, and are farmed based on biodynamic principles. Total production is about 400 hectolitres of wine per year.
Chemical pesticides are avoided on the estate, where the vines are treated with a mixture of natural plant, vegetable extracts, and essential oils.For the Aphros series, the grapes are hand-picked, then macerated and fermented in stainless steel vats, using natural yeasts. The wine spends two months on the lees before being filtered and bottled. All of the cellar processes follow the lunar calendar, remaining in harmony with the natural rhythms of the planet.
Vasco Croft is a jack of all trades. He started as an astrologer, moved onto architecture, dived into philosophy, dabbled in sculpture and woodworking, then met a Buddhist monk who shared a bottle of wine with him and changed his life. Vasco describes the encounter as a personal meeting with Dionysus. It led him to restore a semi-abandoned farmhouse, which had belonged to his family since the 17th century, and transform it into the Aphros project. Is Vasco a Faun in disguise? Well, there are rumours! More verifiably, his biodynamic and Dionysian approach to winemaking has met with astounding success, and his wines would be the pride of any Bacchanalia.