Martta Simões

Martta Simões cherishes the memory of when she first felt, during a grape-picking season, that she was doing the “real thing”. It was in the Quinta do Noval, on the Douro region, where she was part of a grape-picking team that she realised that her true calling was to be making wine. Prior to that, she would follow the grape-picking season with curiosity and fascination in her grandparents’ farm, experiencing the tastes and aromas of the wines her dad would taste during the weekend. As a result of these experiences, her choice to pursue oenology in the University of Trás-os-Montes came naturally.

After working in Quinta da Romeira, Martta embraced the project at Quinta da Alorna, in Almeirim, where she exerts her functions of oenologist together with Nuno Cancela Abreu. Her biggest pride is the 2004 harvest, as she meticulously monitored every small detail along the whole process, from the grape-picking to the bottling, with her uttermost attention and dedication.

She has an affinity for unusual wines such as the Austrian Burgenland or the Italian Amarone, and doesn’t deny her dream of one day leaving the country to produce some of these wines which she so greatly admires. For now however, her focus is in the Ribatejo region, a region with “excellent soils” which allow the creation of the most varied wines from its grapes grown on “flinstone, the sands, or on the fields”.

Martta acknowledges that Portuguese wines which associate national and international castes are at a privileged position in international markets, because “it is easier for an American consumer to pick a Portuguese Syrah and National Touriga wine, as he already knows that he likes Syrah”. On the other hand, “the international consumer is growing tired of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, which creates a space for different wines, increasing their interest in new castes”. It doesn’t come as a shock therefore that Martta believes that the potential of Portuguese wines lies in the autochtonal castes.

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