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Mafalda Vasques: Next Gen Winemaker at Grous, Alentejo, Portugal

This Wednesday (TOMORROW!), we can’t wait to welcome Mafalda, maker of one of our favourite wines, the Grous Moon Harvested Alicante Bouschet, to Amphora.

Mafalda entered the wine business as a pioneering female in a field dominated by men, fuelled by her passion for wine. Inspired by her father, she studied oenology at university, before travelling around the world to learn from vineyards and wineries. Australia, Italy, Chile, then Douro, Mafalda is now working in Alentejo alongside Luis Duarte, who has won Best Winemaker in Portugal 3 times in his career.

The Grous Estate spans a total of 700 Ha, with 73Ha are dedicated to high quality vineyards and the rest sustainable agriculture and livestock. We can’t help noticing a strong correlation between sustainability and care, and complex, delicious wines. The biodiversity that is nurtured in the vineyards translates to a greater abundance of flavour and depth in the wine.

Mafalda and Luis have clearly studied and thought a great deal about how to bring concentration and depth to their wines. Take the aforementioned Moon Harvested Alicante Bouschet, while sceptics may dismiss this as biodynamic buffoonism, we are all familiar with the influence of the moon on tides, so why not on sap flow in the vine? As to how best to time the harvest of grapes for optimal physiological ripeness, flavour concentration, complexity, sugar and acidity, this is a question to pose to Mafalda herself as she graces Amphora with her presence this Wednesday 30th March, at 8pm.

This is also the opportunity to taste Grous’ latest venture, the Concrete White, a 100% Arinto premium wine fermented and matured for 6 months in state-of-the-art Galileo spheres, on their lees (=yeast cells), with b√Ętonnage (stirring). While the wine geeks among us have read about the high heat capacity of concrete, and convection currents set up in concrete eggs, the Galileo vessel is yet more novel. We can’t wait for Mafalda to talk us through this wine.

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