Branco Vulcânico$35 and under
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Light straw with notes of green around the rim. On the nose, tropical but intensely maritime, with pineapple and passion fruit interwoven with seaweed, wet stone and sea spray. Salty and intensely mineral driven on the palate, with a surprising depth of fruit that is balanced by the minerality and focused acidity through the middle.
The Portuguese archipelago of the Azores is home to a winemaking tradition that dates back to its colonization in the 15th century, wherein viticulture was introduced by Franciscan friars. This group of islands is home to a singular terroir and microclimate, one that draws close comparison to the island of Santorini. Like Santorini, the Azores are volcanic islands comprised entirely of black basalt. Pico, the main wine producing island where these vineyards are located, has such poor soil that the vineyard needs to be supplemented with soil from neighboring islands to support vine growth, and even with that, the yields are a fraction of what they are in the rest of the DOC. Additionally, the vineyards are grown in tiny plots (2-6 bush trained vines per square) protected on all sides by small walls called “currais” to ward off the strong winds that blow in from the nearby beaches. Antonio Maçanita, whose heritage is directly tied to the Azores, has been a force of rejuvenation and rediscovery in these islands. Thanks to his efforts, this UNESCO heritage site is being re-established as a prestige wine-growing region in Europe. With the Vulcânico line of wines, Antonio seeks to emphasize the soil and terroir of the Azores over the varietals themselves. The Branco, Tinto and Rosé are all blends of indigenous varieties, made with minimal intervention to fully evoke the salt, wind and volcanic character of this wind-swept landscape.click here for more information.