Artikel des Lieferanten António Agrellos
António Agrellos was born in Porto and has lived here ever since. Port wine ran in his family for generations before him, and so it comes as no surprise that the Douro has always exerted a particular fascination for him. But winemaking was not his first career choice. After finishing high school, he went on to study architecture. However, with the Portuguese revolution came troubled times within the faculty, with political turmoil disrupting study plans.
These were times when politics were all that mattered for most students, but he felt differently. At this point, he paused to reassess his career choices.
He started working as a winemaker in 1978 at Real Companhia Velha, under Frederico Van Zeller. He then worked for five years at Casa Ferreirinha, under Fernando Nicolau de Almeida, father of João Nicolau de Almeida and creator of the mythical Barca Velha.
After five years at Casa Ferreirinha, he returned to his family´s vineyards in São Mamede do Ribatua, where they had a joint venture with Sandeman. During that time he learned much about the business side of wine, and this experience was vital for the role he would later assume.
Through Van Zeller, he was invited to become winemaker at Quinta do Noval. Those were hard times at the Quinta, which was long past its glory days. The wines were not nearly as good as those from the 1960s and ‘70s, and the priority was, as has always been, Vintage Port. This left little room for exploring other paths. Quinta do Noval was eventually bought by AXA, the insurance company in 1993. Fortunately, AXA understood that Quinta do Noval was capable of producing truly special wines, and that quality, not quantity or profit, should be the priority.
This decision ended up by joining Christian Seely on the managing side, with António Agrellos as the head winemaker.
Thus began a long process of reviving Quinta do Noval, one of the best vineyards in the Douro, with a legendary parcel of ungrafted vines unaffected by Phylloxera, whose grapes give birth to the most iconic Vintage Port -- Quinta do Noval Nacional. Under António Agrellos, Quinta do Noval recovered the former glory and reclaimed its rightful place among the best Port producers. Just as an example, since he became the wine director, he achieved 100 points at Wine Spectator not one, but four times with Vintage Ports. This does mean something, even for those who disdain ratings.
António Agrellos is also head winemaker at Quinta da Romaneira since 2004, which is another iconic property in the Douro Valley.