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Bruce Schneider is the third generation of his family to work in the wine industry, and he has been involved in many facets of the industry from production to marketing and now importing. Rui Abecassis (aka Mr. Portugal) has lived in the U.S. for six years as Portugal's deputy trade commissioner in NYC. Since 2005, Rui has been responsible for Portugese wine promotion which lead him to join famed producer Jose Maria da Fonseca to successfully build the brand Twin Vines in the U.S.
When and Why: Bruce and Rui have been friends since 2005. They got together in NYC late April 2010 and discussed the silent successes of Vinho Verde in the U.S. and the room for improvement. That September they headed to Northern Portugal to visit producers. After 1000 Kilometers, it was samples of wine sitting in the trunk of their car that became Vera. They tasted Luis Duarte's wine and decided right then and there. They believe Vera delivers on the promise they started out wanting to achieve: better wine, nicer packaging and greater value.
About Luis Duarte: Luis Duarte, Vera's winemaker is one of the true rockstars of Portugal. Luis started at Herdade do Esporao when he was only 21 years old (1987), and helped make Esporao a leading brand from the Alentejo. Luis left in 2005 to be Head Winemaker at Herdade do Grous, considered the benchmark for the Alentejo. Luis was twice named Winemaker of the Year (1997 & 2007) by Portugal's highly regarded "Revista dos Vinhos." Since 2007, Luis has been helping to define quality Vinho Verde at Casa do Valle. In 2010 he received the nomination for "Best Winemakers in the World" by "Der Feinschmecker."
Winery Information: The winery is in the Vinho Verde subregion of Basto, inland and north of Douro River. In total Casa do Valle has 38 hectares or 93 acres organized in 140 plots (yes 140! scattered in a 12 mile radius). Harvest is 100% manual. Organic efforts are used in the viticulture.
New York Magazine: Green Gulp
New York Post: Summer Sips
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