Falua and national sommeliers extend collaboration

It's not the first time now and it certainly won't be the last. A dozen national sommeliers of reference recently met at Falua, in Almeirim, to elect the final batch of Conde Vimioso Sommelier Edition wines in conjunction with winemaker Antonina Barbosa. 

Falua's idea of making a final batch of special edition red wine for the Horeca canal was born in 2015, when winemaker Antonina Barbosa invited a Polish sommelier to taste the wine and make a joint decision on the profile that the product would have, as the winery exported a lot to Poland. As the initiative went well, two years later, the partnership remained with the same sommelier, and did the same exercise, this time for the Portuguese. As with the previous wine, the initiative went so well, that Falua decided in the future to extend the invitation to a larger number of sommeliers, this time Portuguese, to choose the final batch of a limited edition of a white wine (harvest 2019), also directed to the Horeca channel. Thus was born the concept of this adventure.

This year, Diego Apollinário (Restaurant Eneko, Lisbon), Marc Pinto (Restaurant Fifty Seconds, Lisbon), Rodolfo Tristão (consultant), Marco Alexandre (Aroeira restaurant, Costa da Caparica), Bruno Monteiro (Burro Velho restaurant, Batalha), Diogo Couto (Costa Brava restaurant, Benedita), João Lopes (Hotel Mundial, Lisbon), Nelson Guerreiro (Garrafeira Nacional, Lisbon), Gabriel Duarte (consultant) and Jorge Silva (Rocco restaurant, Lisbon) were the sommeliers invited to fine tune the new harvests of that special edition Count Vimioso.

The initiative, which in a way also highlights and honors the work of national sommeliers, has extended not only to the number of guest sommeliers, but also to the wine range itself. It is that now, in addition to white and red, there is also a rosé (Count Vimioso Sommelier Edition White 2021, Rosé 2021 and Red 2020).

"Keeping the bet in a close relationship with Canal Horeca and with professionals of excellence who in Portugal work the references in wine cellar, we always invite a group of prestigious sommeliers to choose the final batch of wines of the special edition Conde Vimioso Sommelier Edition. These wines stand out for having a gastronomic profile, with high potential for harmonization, so the contribution of experienced and recognized sommeliers gives us the certainty that the final batch will be distinct", stresses the winemaker Antonina Barbosa, who currently also accumulates the function of Director General of Falua.

According to the responsible, the sommeliers are always invited to visit the vineyard and the winery, and then go to the tasting room where the winemaker presents them with three lots of each of the wines. "The proof is blind, they don't even know what varieties we use in these lots. We talk a lot about the profile that is intended, we exchange ideas and are very interesting moments of sharing and brainstorming. They enter completely into the spirit and, in the end, even if some do not fully agree with the majority, they end up perceiving by the preference of the majority the direction that the profile of each wine is taking, discuss and naturally accept the final result. It's a very interesting exercise," he says.