Since 2003, Vasco Croft has set out to resurrect his family estate that was almost abandoned. He’s pushed further the resurrection in turning the whole 20 hectares of vines and chestnut orchards into a sanctuary of sustainable practice, biodynamic and positive energetisation. Silver haired, naturally serene, former Architect, Vasco is one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming and wine making in Portugal and especially in Vinho Verde.
Loureiro and Vinhão have grown in these vineyards for centuries and are still the main focus of the wines. Along the reductive, sustainable practices in the vineyards, Vasco advocates for a reversion towards traditional, medieval winemaking techniques by relying as little as possible on technology. The Phaunus line of wines was born from this idea and a research on old winemaking methods. They were able to track down some old Talha amphorae from the south of Portugal. After being picked and pressed by hand, the wine is merely, purely left to age and ferment in these gigantic beeswax lined amphorae. This is supposedly, exactly how wines were made a thousand year ago, with no electricity, no temperature control (except opening the doors) and with as little handling as possible.
I know these types of practice and natural wines are controversial. I’m not myself a fervent defender of this type of approach that is often pushed to eccentric and almost esoteric limits. However, like the more than famous latin quote says: “In Vino Véritas”. The truth is in the wines which are impressive and absolutely stunning in every way. Every doubt that I might have gotten just disappeared at the first sip. Thank you Vasco for opening my eyes.