Victor Goncalves’s winery, Socalcos do Bouro, consists of five hectares tucked away on a hillside above the remote town of Bouro Santa Maria, next to the Cavado River. Just a few miles from the mountainous Geres National Park, the terrain here is beautiful – a scenic drive through the area might remind you of the Blue Ridge Parkway and hilly Appalachia. This land is so remote, Victor’s relative, an antifascist priest who fought for democracy against Portugal’s dictatorship in the 60s and 70s, used a barn on the property as his hiding spot from the secret police. To farm this challenging topography, stone walled terraces, known as socalcos, are carved into the hillsides to create vineyards.
Victor’s father-in-law, João de Deus Martins Antunes de Almeida, made wine here for 40 years, establishing the original iconoclastic style of the estate. Instead of selling off his grapes to large producers, João took pride in making his own wine, establishing one of the first brands in the region. In 2009, Victor took over the vineyards and historic stone building that serves as both a family home and garage winery. Making only 3,300 cases of wine a year, this is easily the smallest producer we work with, yet one of our favorites.
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