Portuguese red wine – Dão’s elegance, rituals and slow living

Portuguese red wine,  you’ve heard it through the grapevine and from the news

Portuguese red wine, whose high quality is spread by word of mouth and admired around the world by specialists, has increased its international demand significantly and is now undeniable its worldwide fame.

Red wines of excellence and exceptional qualities are produced throughout the country, as a result of different grape varieties, soil type, relief and climate. Their merit and appreciation grows inside and beyond Portugal’s borders. Dão reds, from which the award-winning Julia Kemper red wines originate, due to the austere climate, the granitic soils to something that we will call the ‘magic hand’ and some secrets of the trade, are known for their unmatched acidity and complex and delicate aromas. These attributes translate into wines of character, with complexity, maturity, balance and enormous aging potential, and result in an elegant profile. The sum of unique qualities present in exceptional gastronomic wines possess a versatility which both combines with the rich and varied national cuisine and adapts to the most demanding criteria of the new international chefs.

 

The wine cult

The quality of Portuguese red wines is not new, nor is it just being discovered, either by us or by the foreign market. However, a happy set of circumstances and trends on a global scale now values more highly all the ritual that is involved in wine and its tasting. Due to the need for healthier lifestyles, sustainable production in full harmony with ecosystems, and more conscientious eating habits as part of a desirable zero waste economy, wine occupies pride of place these days. Indeed, today’s wines follow the principles of organic and biodynamic agriculture and reject chemical additives in the entire process (from vineyard to cellar) – such as those made by Julia Kemper. As a repository of knowledge and artisanal methods, dependent on the vagaries of the seasons and human know-how, wine ticks all these boxes,  its eco-friendly appeal seducing new generations, more responsible and alert to the stress on the planet and the dangers of current patterns of mass production and consumption. Individual and collective awareness of this complex issue has brought more followers to the cult of wine. Yes, we argue that wine is a cult not a fashion, because it has its own rites, secrets and silences. Fashions come and go and are put on display. But the art of making good wine is ancient; it endures and is respected. Because it is not enough to like wine, you have to know how to appreciate it and this is an undeniable and intimate ritual.

A ritual that rhymes with slow living

Associated with urban and sophisticated lifestyles, but also with increasingly conscientious philosophies and ways of life, the ritual of wine making, like any other, implies slowing down. It implies time. It requires appreciation, tasting, time to see and feel and it also requires a good conversation. It can be used to drown your sorrows , but you don’t open a bottle of Portuguese red wine to kill time or just to quench your thirst. On the contrary, time is invested, whatever is needed and a little more if necessary, and friends and / or feelings are invited to enjoy a good glass of Portuguese red wine. Of course, it can be white, ‘green’ or rosé, but what brought us here today was the Portuguese red, more specifically Julia Kemper’s Portuguese red wines. They are the result of a technique that respects, in equal measure, the moods of Nature and the ways of Man, and are consistent with the understanding of slow living. This  approach to life encourages us to slow down the pace and favours  ‘making time for time’, giving Nature time to recover after each harvest, and giving Man time after each day of work. Make time to enjoy life. To toast it. To observe, feel, absorb and marvel. Time to think and time to allow ourselves to be happy. If we travel too fast, we won’t see the landscape. We can stop the clock, but we can’t turn back the time.


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