Christoph Kranemann. A story of falling in love with the Douro and Quinta do Convento de São Pedro das Águias

Jul 23rd 19

Christoph Kranemann

We have the pleasure of Christoph Kranemann’s company in an interview by the cloisters of the Quinta do Convento de São Pedro das Águias, in the Távora valley. As we talk, his gaze is one of permanent contemplation. He could have chosen to produce wine anywhere in the world, even considered it in Australia, but when asked "why here?", the answer is accompanied by an even more passionate look. "Have you ever seen a place more perfect than this?"

Do you remember your first trip to Portugal?

The first time I came to Portugal was in the 1990s, in order to attend a medical conference in the Algarve. It was around that time of my life that I became more interested in wine, especially after another trip to Australia later during that decade, a country where I would end up visiting around 200 wineries, simply out of curiosity. Anyway, what to do in Australia? Visit the "outback" and be bitten by an animal, or discover wines? [laughs] I would always choose the second option ...

And what is your first contact with Portuguese wines?

When I met my wife, Dina, my interest in Portuguese wines started to blossom. That was around 2004. But the first wine that left a lasting impression on me, and a very big one at that, was a Barca-Velha that we opened at a dinner in a restaurant in Lisbon called Pabe. I remember it perfectly. This wine was simply brilliant, it never left my memory ... As I traveled more frequently to Portugal, It was only natural to deepen my knowledge of local wines. I remember a visit to Quinta do Crasto, here in the Douro, where, during a magical dinner, a few simply fabulous old Porto bottles were opened.

When did you discover the Quinta do Convento de São Pedro das Águias?

I only discovered Quinta do Convento much later, in a fortuitous conversation, when a friend commented that he knew someone interested in selling a fantastic farm in the North of Portugal. Of course, I was interested in knowing what it would be; the deal was closed after I came here for the first time.

And why the Quinta do Convento de São Pedro das Águias? Do you feel good here?

Have you ever seen a more perfect site than this? The vineyards, the river, all this fantastic landscape ... The architecture ... I have German roots and I have always been very interested in architecture and history, so this twelfth century convent, with these cloisters and all this memory, is a kind of perfect place that brings together what I like the most. It's a magical place!

What is your vision regarding the Kranemann Wine Estates project?

We want to be a reference project, which, through wine production and wine tourism, can help to identify and energize this very particular region of Tabuaço and Tavora Valley. This will be achieved by enhancing what we have here that is so special, this altitude, freshness, shale and granite soils ... As my interest in wines kept building up, I also began to pay more attention to issues such as the terroir, the geology, the behavior of different grape varieties in different soils, and here we find a very interesting heritage, which allows us to produce wines with a very special profile. Portugal and the Douro own an impressive wealth and originality, which I appreciate very much, not only in table wines, but also in fortified wines. Being able to improve on this wealth is an enormous privilege and opportunity.