Put a wine-loving world renowned baritone and an architect turned passionate biodynamic wine producer in one room and there’s bound to be chemistry. And so it was when Bryn Terfel met Vasco Croft, the man behind Afros Vinho Verde.
Tasting Afros Loureiro to Croft’s backstory on the Afros name (Afros was born to celebrate the birth of Aphrodite) inspired Terfel to exclaim “I feel like a God.” Suffice to say Terfel left clutching a bottle of Afros Loureiro to his breast. All true, because I was there, recording a BBC Radio 4 programme with Terfel who, enchanted with Loureiro, burst into a rendition of The Green, Green Grass of Home. How very Vinho Verde, for there’s an air of abundance about this verdant region.
Said abundance accounts for the industrial quantities of big brand, vapid, spritzy white Vinho Verde which has led some to write off the region. But focus on the premium end and, as regular readers will know, there’s lots of excitement to be had. Afros, who hold the distinction of being Portugal’s only certified biodynamic producer, also happen to be Vinho Verde’s most exciting exponent of Loureiro and (red) Vinhão, both in still and sparkling form. You can read a report of my July visit to Afros on my Portugal regional report page here, where you’ll also find my report on the previous day’s Alvarinho-fest.
As you’ll discover there’s a world of difference between the Vinho Verde big brands and those wines hand crafted by the small guys, so whatever you do, don’t write off Vinho Verde! Don’t just take my word for it – check out what my travelling companion, Tom Cannavan, had to say about our visit to the region here.