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Luís Quinas Guerra[


“Each of our wines are different aspects of life, extensions of ourselves, of our soul. They are the various moments in which opening a bottle makes every sense. That is the beauty of the Douro: its ability to deliver elegant, complex, distinct wines.”
Luís Quinas Guerra

João Monteiro (Quinta do Beijo), owner of a large winery in the Douro Valley, named Gueda winery one of the best white wine producers in Portugal. Therefore, the owner of Gueda, Luis Quinas Guerra, is our guest today.

Interview with Luis Quinas Guerra on the "Yellow Road"

Panorama with the Gueda vineyards


1 - Please tell us about yourself, why did you continue the family tradition?
My family has a very long tradition in the wine business in the Douro Valley. Gueda, our wine brand, is actually the given name of a X century farmer, our ancestor, who owned the same land we are located but pinpointing a date for the beginning of the involvement of my ancestors in this activities is hard. We do know that even before the original demarcation of the Douro Valley dated from 1756, family members and direct ancestors had been growing grapes and making their wines in the region.
In the middle of the last century, due to several reasons related to the business model of the region, my family stopped producing wines only to be resumed some 50 years later as me and my sister Margarida were in the process of modernizing agricultural aspects of the estate and diversifying its turistic appeal after my father passed away 4 years before.
It was his dream and now is ours to bring life to a neglected estate manor house, hence Casa do Romezal B&B, and recreate amazing products that showed our identity, Gueda.
Since 2012 I have been testing our several micro-terroirs to produce small and unique batches of wine that show our diversity in terms of vineyard characteristics and yearly influence.
I am a trained pharmacist that steered out of the normal path and decided instead on applying that knowledge in a new career that gives me not only the joy of sharing my passion for this land but also for its fantastic wines.

Still life from Gueda(Casa do Romezal).

Baby goat cooked by Margarida


2 - João Monteiro (Quinta do Beijo) named you as one of the best white wine producers in Portugal, how many years did it take you to achieve such results?
I am extremely humbled by these words of João, whose wines are also fantastic examples of a different section of the Douro Valley. We started micro production in 2012 and in 2015 were confidant about our results to launch a first Gueda White, followed by the long ago sold out 2015, 2017 and 2018. 2019 marks a new age in our Winery by the
simultaneous launch of a White and a Reserve White. I believe that the success of our Whites has its roots on how wise the choice of planted varieties were back in the 1990's when my father was in charge. We now enjoy mature vineyards, all field blends of several native cépage, fantastic location and huge range in altitude and soil characteristics.
We can then use that to our advantage and deliver to our drinkers a quirk, novel approach to winemaking in the Douro which is a lot more micro-terroir based that taste engineering by blend. In essence, Nature rules and we steer the production to bring the best out of every plot of land.


3 - A very simple question: what is your favorite wine?
Of all the wines we produce, I would have to say that our new 2019 White Reserve takes the top. It has become a staple of our winery to always produce these wines when conditions are just right and 2019 was such a year.
It took us some time to venture into ageeing Whites as our standard unoaked White had such a success but the time has come. Grapefruit, apricot and dates, accompanied by floral notes of linden and slight nuances of cocoa...
Gift set from Gueda

View of the Casa do Romezal estate


4 - If possible, list a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, can represent your farm.
A wonderfull choice would be our Reserve White 2019, our Red Grand Reserve 2017 and our White Port. We ship directly to our clients throughout Europe and orders can be placed on our website at www.casadoromezal.com
However, to best understand our approach, our patrons often come back every now and then to check for update on our available wines. Boutique productions mean that eventually that particular edition of a wine will
be sold out to give way to a new vintage, unapologetic different from the year before.
The Douro has taken craft wine to new levels that are fun and unpretentious, just like our new generation of clients.

Margarida


5 - A question for Margarida (another very simple question in this interview): what is your favorite dish?
My favorite dish is a very traditional Portuguese meat dish which is called oven roasted kid (baby goat). The kid is preferably cooked in a wood burning oven and it is usually served with small potatoes cooked in
the same tray in the oven. Additionally, a special rice recipe, "arroz de forno" (literally oven rice), is served alongside. A must-have in every Portuguese kitchen is the traditional dark clay pots produced in the Region where the rice cooks and is later presented. This recipe requires a previously made broth using several boiled cuts of meats and smoked
ham, giving the dish its characteristic aroma and taste. This kid and potatoes are seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices such as parsley, laurel, sweet chili, black pepper and garlic. Portugal cuisine incorporates a lot of sauteed vegetables with olive oil and garlic, so we definitely find a space on the plate to include them while
eating this dish. Seasoning and preparations should start the day before to achieve the end result: a wonderful meal!

6 - Can I taste this dish at Casa do Romesal?
You can taste this dish at Casa do Romezal, as long as previously requested, due to the preparation needed. We usually only cook dinners upon reservation for groups which occupy the 3 bedrooms of the house, so 6 people minimum.

7 - How much is your luxury double room?
Our double bedrooms are all available for 110€/night, with a minimum 2-night stay requirement. The house has 3 double suits, all equipped similarly although with different decoration, and several common areas to enjoy on an exclusive environment, in the middle of our vineyards.

White Port

and Red Grand Reserva


8 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Though our White Reserve 2019 has seduced me in every way, a fan favorite is our White Port and that is our choice for the "Yellow Road".
Try it out cold, on ice or mixed with tonic water and mint leaves. It's heaven!

On the terrace of Casa do Romesal

and Apartment with pool


9 - What white wine producer (from Portugal or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?
I recently visited Bordeux and the passion of M. Xavier de Pontac of Château de Myrat in Sauternes and the fantasying Grand Cru Classé produced in the estate made a lasting impression. That would be my recommendation.

10 - The westernmost point of the European part of the Yellow Road will naturally be in Portugal, where there will be a symbolic line (finish) of the European part. Is participation in this micro-project interesting for you?
Absolutely! We believe that a shared European awareness to local products is very important. Recent product certification such as Douro, Port AOC's and many other European wine regions, gaining interanion protection in new market such as China is a proof that the preservation of authenticity and quality is a fundamental and shared goal in our promotion. We believe in a winding road that connects us all and Douro, the most historic wine region in the country deserves such an honor.


Sergey Evtuhov,
author of the "Yellow Road" project
evtuhov@yahoo.com
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