Howard’s Folly Alvarinho 2017 is hand-picked, bunch sorted, de-stemmed and then crushed. 48 hours cold settling adding mouthfeel with cultured yeast to complete fermentation. Lees ageing for 4 months adds texture, then cold stabilised and bottled. Grapes come from Moncao and Melgaco, sub-regions of Vinho Verde in the north-west of Portugal. Typically cool climate with stony granite soils helps the wines acid profile remain tight and crisp. Palate is fresh with lots of lemon and lime zest. Firm structure, quite intense fruit with layered complexity coming from the lees ageing. Scented crisp finish, serve ice cold and with shellfish for maximum enjoyment. Cool label too! Howard’s Folly is a small producer with Aussie winemaker, David Bavistock at the helm. Producing wines from Alentejo as well as the north-west. Set up by Howard Bilton and David Bavistock in 2002 to create wines of origin and authenticity, David has decades of experience and pioneered modern winemaking in Portugal and is the only non-Portuguese national to win winemaker of the year twice. Focusing on Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Trincadera and Alvarinho with an average age of 22 years. Red grapes hailing from the Portalegre vineyard in Alentejo and the Alvarinho coming from Melgaco and Moncao in the north-west. Howard’s Folly also have contracts with local growers who look after smaller plots of older vines. These grapes go towards the single vineyards wines or the super-premium blends. They offer a winemaking experience on-site too. There you can learn about the importance of wine blending, a very important tool in the winemakers shed and a great way to learn more about Portuguese winemaking and the main varieties.