Joao Tavares de Piña
Dão, Portugal

Located in the Dão, overlooking the river of the same name, in its most savage part, in Penalva do Castelo, is a district formerly called "Terras de Tavares" or pioneer land. There, everything is called Tavares, the localities, the villages, the restaurants and of course the winemaker João Tavares de Pina.

João's family estate, La Quinta Boavista, dates from 1650 following the great colonization. It is located at an altitude of 550 meters on soils of deep granite, quartz, clay and shale, which are ideal for the harvest of Jaen (Mencía), Touriga Nacional, Bical and Pinheira (Rufete ). Of its 13.5 hectares of vines, only 4 are active. A few years ago, João decided to rip out all of the old vines that were not typical of the region to replant some forty forgotten grape varieties that he is now trying to rehabilitate. This results in, for the moment, rather low yields of 25h / ha. João gave the name of Rufia which means Badass to his wines, in his own honor as he is known in the local wine landscape as someone who disturbs the status quo because of his obstinacy to promote natural wines.

The vines are lined with oak and eucalyptus forests. He works to maintain natural biodiversity in the vineyard, allowing chamomile, clover, lavender and wild flowers to grow. He does not use synthetic products or herbicides in the vineyards and he never uses agents for filtering or fining in the cellar. Aside from a touch of sulfur when bottled, João lets the wine evolve naturally. According to him, he is not following the trend of the natural wine movement, but rather he is simply making wine as his father and his grandfather have always done, as naturally as possible.