Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dares to be different

At 29, Rita Ferreira Marques is already a dynamical winemaker.She has a natural curiosity for the world and she certainly dears to be different.
Rita ´s story started when she put her engineer studies aside and instead went to live in Vila Real, where she started her studies to be an oenologist. Now having her mind set on wine she started to learn more on winemaking and  it didn't take long for her to develop her own style and concept. Her ambition was to make sure that she could take care of her family's vineyards in the best possible way.

Her first winemaking experiments started in the harvest of 2003. Even before she completed her degree with honors, she started to travel around the world to learn with a hands-on approach about harvesting grapes and creating wines.
Douro, Bordeaux, California, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand has been some of her stops, where she worked with oenologists such as Denis Dubourdieu, Dirk Niepoort and Jorge Borges, Returning home, she issued her first red wine in 2005. But it was not until 2007 that she  surprised the portuguese wine scene by releasing what would become the new best Portuguese white wine, Conceito Branco. Next, many raised eyebrows followed while introducing a new red made from pure Bastardo grapes,a bright colored red wine from this previously abandoned grape variety that no one else regarded to have potential to reinvent.

The success has come with great interest from abroad. With her brand Conceito and theme of Contraste she started receiving comments from world wine critics and importers.
Rita designs food wines, with a notable purity and remarkable ageing potential. The Portuguese success did not slow down her globetrotting craving. In 2010 she spent 6 weeks in New Zealand to make a try for a Sauvignon Blanc to be released under the brand Conceito, a totally original move for Portuguese wine producers. At the same time, micro vinifications allows her to further explore her original Douro terroir and to create personal wines of both elegance and depth.

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