Partly from Alentejo and partly from the Azores, he is a Portuguese enologist well known for enjoying a challenge. António Maçanita is a self made man, with a solid 10 years path based on the consistency of the Fita Preta project he developed in Alentejo, completed with the most recent Douro wines enterprise “Maçanita – Irmãos & Enólogos” (a partnership with his sister Joana Maçanita) as well as the Azores endeavor. The quality of both his work and his wines have been recognized and highlighted in and out of Portugal.
In 2016, the three companies produced about 350.000 bottles, which were exported to over 20 countries. Adding to this, there is the consulting services in about 15 businesses from the country´s top to bottom.
António Maçanita has made very important work in the preservation and the promotion of the indigenous and exclusive Azorean grape varieties, proving theirs and the Terroir´s enormous potential in the production of exceptional white wines.
He was born in July 1977 on the island of S. Miguel, where he lived until he was 18, at which time he went to the Universidade Nova de Lisboa to graduate in the economics course. By the end of 1999, he returned to his homeland to begin his professional life, having worked in the commercial and investment project analysis areas.
In 2004 he was invited to become the executive director of the training school Escola de Formação Turística e Hoteleira that, at the time, had only existed for 2 years. Since then, and until the end of 2016, he dedicated himself to the restaurant, lodging and tourism areas, making a decisive contribution to transform the professional training in the Azores and promote the Region on the levels of gastronomy and wines, at a both national and international level. He fell in love with the Pico vineyards as well as the challenge of campaigning for the Region´s wines in a permanent connection with the Azorean gastronomy and products´ potential. The friendship with António Maçanita and Paulo Machado, along with the appeal of a new challenge that is both huge and transforming to the Region, are the motivation for the long days of work. He is currently the financial head and the new companies support of the António Maçanita group.
In 1974, he was born into the fourth generation of a very deep family connection to the experiencing of the vineyard and wine culture on Pico island. He studied agricultural engineering at the University of the Azores and took a post graduate in enology at the Católica University biotechnology superior school, in Oporto. In 2006 he started the Insula Vinus company with the purpose to produce and market wines. The project grew with its own vineyards and a small winemaking space. From the start, he wanted to do things right and differently and also to search for the complementing knowledge necessary in the world of wines and winery. He participated in several initiatives that took place in the Azores, and strengthened his friendship with Filipe Rocha and António Maçanita, enabling the opportunity for a partnership in 2013. The Insula Private Selection and the first Arinto dos Açores by António Maçanita are launched into the market. Two special editions that signal the beginning of a new era for Pico wines!
Currently, Insula maintains its viticulture and services provision activities and its facilities hold the production for the Azores Wine Company. Paulo Machado holds the big responsibility of the on-site work in recovering tens of acres in curral vineyards as well as their growing and maintenance, in a landscape transformation that will contribute to the comeback of largest production volumes to Pico island.
The Azores Wine Company was founded on April 3rd, 2014, by the partners António Maçanita, Filipe Rocha and Insula Vinus, Lda.
The story of three people profoundly connected to the Azores who crossed paths by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, brought together by a passion to which they dedicate a significant part of their lives: wine and gastronomy.
Amongst the several projects they are involved in, we find wine production in Pico, the recovery of an endangered grape variety, as well as the promotion of the Azorean wine and gastronomy.
In 2010, António Maçanita began, along with the S. Miguel Agricultural Development Services, the winemaking work of the Terrantez do Pico grape variety. Unique in the world, this nearly extinct caste reveals a surprising freshness, mineral quality and salinity. The small production of this identity and authenticity filled wine, travels to several countries and becomes available to some of the best wine shops and top restaurants. The Azores come in big!
Afterwards, in 2013, there was a joint venue on Pico island, put together by Fita Preta wines and Insula Vinus, in order to produce a wine based on one more autochthon grape variety of the Region: Arinto dos Açores.
The team work, the friendship and the common vision to bring back to the Azores, Pico island in particular, the notoriety of past times challenged them into a new project.
This is how the Azores Wine Company was born and in 2014, the first year, it was already producing 10.000 bottles. The single varieties white wines Arinto dos Açores and Verdelho O Original of the Rare Grapes Collection represent more than half the production. However, the red and rose wines are also quite surprising.
The first Azorean sparklings are also a part of this story. It was made in 2011 by António Maçanita in the Terrantez do Pico project (in S. Miguel island) and in 2014 the first Arinto dos Açores sparkling, already under Azores Wine Company signature.
Lastly, there is the work already being developed in the fortified wines domain, in search of the famous Pico wines that travelled the world over 400 years ago.
We want to bring the world to the Azores, and take the Azores to the world!
We want the Azores to be tasted in a glass of wine… have you taste our “land” and our “sea”. And for the experience to be complete, we want you to visit us and feel the pleasure in the best and simple things in life, as only the contact with the islander nature and hospitality can provide. The Azores Wine Company project is also an homage to the History and to heroes who molded the impressive landscape of the Pico Island Vineyards, building thousands of currais as far as the eye can reach, where the “impossible” was made and that, today, are one of the 14 wine regions certified by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site. We make wines that are unique, filled with identity, pure, fresh, challenging and with a pinch of salt…as life should be!
The Azores Wine Company is recovering about 100 hectares of vineyard on the island of Pico, and will soon become the largest private producer in the Azores.
Beyond the vineyards themselves, the company is connected to about twenty local winegrowers.
On the medium term, the company will come to produce about 150.000 bottles a year, highlighting the excellence of the autochthonous grape varieties of the Region, namely the Arinto dos Açores, Terrantez do Pico, Verdelho and Saborinho. The rose and red production will also be important because the Azorean terroir brings them and a fresh profile that meets the new worldwide preferences.
The Azores Wine Company is already developing the construction of a winery. “Adega” in Portuguese language means winery, but we wish to embody the true meaning that the word “adega” holds in Pico: it is much more than a place where wines are produced…it is our living room, where we welcome our friends and enjoy the good things in life. But an “adega”, sometimes, is also a place where one can sleep…
The new winery will be located on the north coast of the island, close to Cais do Mourato, right in the vineyards landscape.