Luís Pato – A reference producer

It comes from a well-known family of Bairradinos producers. It is not surprising that he continued the mission of his ancestors, being today one of the best known wine producers and at national level, as internationally. Irreverent, sometimes controversial, Luís Pato has no popes in his tongue when he comes to defending what is ours.  

Your first wine was drunk at the age? As at t
hat time there was no law that provided young people to drink before the age of 18... Maybe I've been fingering my first wine when I was 15. Fingering, because just suck your wet finger with wine!

Besides Berry - we already know that he is a great supporter and fond of the caste - what are the other varieties he like
s? In Bairrada, land of white and sparkling wines, I like the Bical grape variety, but also the Cercial caste of Bairrada in clay-limestone soils. In sandy soils, I like the Maria Gomes grape variety and, above all, sercialinho, a variety of which I am the only producer in the world, by inheritance of my father João Pato who planted it 40 years ago in Quinta do Ribeirinho. 

What was the national wine that drank that impressed you the
most? A Red Dog made by João Nicolau de Almeida in 1982, in Quinta da Ervamoira. I don't think he's ever been out on the market. I drank it in Esmoriz, at the home of a great Portuguese friend from Brazil - his father had emigrated as opposed to Salazar - and left us early, Armando Soares dos Reis.

And internationa
l? Enough... From an Australian Hill of Grace, it was an excellent example of a New World wine that looked like a Cote Rotie; Champagnes such as Bollinger's Vieilles Vignes Françaises (from a french-footed vineyard); a 1985 Richebourg of the DRC, a 1948 La Tache that I drank at the age of 50 at the home of our friend José Antonio Dias Lopes (Gula Magazine at the time, and Gosto today); a Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1992 of an elegance that put aside a Dom Pérignon 1996; a Sori Tildin Barbaresco of Angelo Gaia of the mythical year 1997, and so many others who stayed here the day to be dissertation as I was remembering... 

Some associativism has already begun to emerge among wine producers, but there is still a long way to go.  Is it a matter of mentality? What can we do to make more cohesion? The new ge
neration has brought not only a huge improvement to national oenology, but has brought together impossive unions in the most retracted years. A good example is the Baga Friends that resulted from a union of interests of Filipa Pato, my daughter, and producer Mário Sergio. In my generation it would be impossible!

We have been out in several international publications, Portugal is now fashionable. But how do you think international markets really come to us? Do consumers get to know us better?  What about the specialized criticism? I st
art by the end saying that the specialized criticism has seen us as a wine-producing country of excellence for a few decades. However, this message never reached consumers, because Portuguese wines have always been affirmed for their low price, which does not give quality confidence to international consumers/connoisseurs. Only in recent years has portuguese promotion turned to the sale of our wealth which is the huge diversity of national wines due to the huge amount of grape varieties, soils, climates, people and a very long history. International sommeliers are beginning to discover our differentiating richness, so we are only now beginning to improve the image of Portuguese wine and its price. The great work of Portuguese producers is to assert themselves in countries that pay much higher value than the national market, and this is done with the sommeliers of England, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Norway, Japan, South Korea. As the songs recommend their best choice to surprise their customers - a fundamental work of a sommelier, out there as here - the wines recommended by them are not subject to the length of stay on a shelf, and sell themselves by quality and not for the price!

Don't you think Portuguese producers bow a little too much to
international criticism? That is, our wines are good, their undeniable quality, don't you think our attitude should be a little safer? Unfortun
ately, many of the 'promoter slaters' of Portuguese wines around this world have no security in what they are selling, and lower the price as soon as the opponent asks them. If they compared international wines with the same level of quality, they would understand, if they were aware of what global quality is, that even selling expensively, in their idea, they were selling cheap in the world context. The appreciations of the renowned journalists who have put Portuguese wines at the top of their criticism serve to raise our pride, but they should also ask us about the prices at which we sell these wines so good!

Give producers one or two advice to sell their wines better. They must
acquire a vision of the quality of world-class reference wines, proving them without reverence, but also without overhanging. Then you begin your knowledge so you can sell yours better. I leave, to finish, the answer I got more than 25 years ago from an English buyer when I answered him that my wines were not very expensive compared to their French counterparts. He simply told me ,'yes it's true, but we bought similar wines in Portugal and much cheaper'. See why Portugal is a poor country? It is subservient and lazy..... don't worry about knowing the value of what you sell!


The Pato family has been producing wine in Quinta do Ribeirinho since at least the 19th century. 18th. Luís Pato is the heir to this tradition. He graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1971 and, since the 1980 harvest, he manages the farm and makes his first wine, which soon wins first place in a competition in London. It's the beginning of a great adventure. Luis Pato practically carried out a revolution in the cellar, equipping it in order to allow the creation of wines in a modern style, without neglecting the character of traditional grape varieties. It replaced the old brown tubs with stainless steel vats and Portuguese brown barrels and French oak. It also introduced the temperature control of fermentations, as well as the desengace of the ink grapes, a very unusual technique at the time. But Luís Pato was not only an innovator in this conversion. He adopted a professional attitude as a producer, developing a dynamic marketing strategy that has managed to capture the attention of international markets for its wines, well known in the European, American and Asian markets, and always recognized as a symbol of high quality Portuguese farm wines.