INTERVIEW WITH WINE MAKER CARLOS FERREIRA
April 12, 2018, marked the arrival of F Branco by Carlos Ferreira at the SAQ.
It was a long-awaited day for the winemaker.
He speaks to us with great excitement about his journey as a wine producer in this short interview.
· What prompted you to want to produce wine?
It’s because water makes rust! (Laughter). First and foremost, it brings me back to my roots and to my passion. I’m a great lover of wines! Additionally, my restaurants buy them in large quantities. I simply wanted to get involved and have more control over the production process. The total quantity of wines that we sell in the restaurants nevertheless represents several thousands of bottles. It works out well for us.
My friend Filipe Madeira from the winemaking company CARM presented me with a wonderful business opportunity in the Alto Douro. Since I already spend a lot of time there, I decided to bridge the useful and the enjoyable. And now, I am my own producer, buyer, and vendor.
· You weren’t busy enough? (Laughter)
Yes, but since I didn’t like it enough, I found another job! (Laughter)
· Do F products have an environmental commitment?
Of course. If we look at the production base, our vines and olive trees survive without any treatments and without any artificial or mechanical irrigation system. They simply survive thanks to the rain. The temperature isn’t always ideal, but there’s nothing more simple and eco-friendly than this method.
· We want to imagine what it’s like—how would you describe your vineyard?
There are now three vineyards covering 43 hectares of valleys, with 21 hectares of grapevines and 8 hectares of olive trees. With some almond trees in the middle. There’s rosemary, there are wildflowers…it looks like a postcard. (Laughter)
· What were you most proud of during the wine production process?
Producing the best juice possible with the means at our disposal, without tampering with it with questionable methods. (Laughter). I am also proud of our very low concentration of residual sugar. In short, we try do improve year to year.
· What was the greatest obstacle in this journey?
The climate—the intense heat and dryness. The biggest challenge in the last three years was definitely drought.
Of course, there will always be the cost. For example, to produce a good wine, you need to store the bottles for a minimum of two to three years. This incurs significant costs. Business sense in wine production is more important than people imagine.
· How did your relationship with CARM begin?
CARM is a family-owned business that owns thousands of hectares of olive trees and vines. It’s a very professional business that always wants to do better. This attitude completely fits in with my entrepreneurial philosophy. Additionally, my property is located right in the middle of theirs. I became acquainted with the family by discovering their olive oil. So it’s oil that led me to them. It’s important to mention that my wines and oils are produced and bottled in their facilities. So CARM is like family.
· And finally… What should we pair F Branco wine with?
It’s a fresh-tasting wine that’s excellent with oysters and seafood. It also pairs well with poultry and white meats served with sauce.