Rita Marques from the Douro Valley in Portugal, whilst still in her early thirties, was quickly noticed by international wine critics for her ‘precocious’ talents. She is the only female member of the “Young winemakers of Portugal” group. Equipped with valuable experience from working with some of the world’s top oenologists like the late Denis Dubourdieu, Dirk Niepoort, Jorge Borges, Bruce Jack, George Geris and Marketta Formeaux; Marques went about travelling the world in order to learn by getting stuck in with harvests and making wine from an array of varietals. “My wine philosophy is to try to express a sense of place in the wines I make”, says Rita Marques. “The better I know a place the happier I am with the wines I make there. Obviously in Douro, but also increasingly in South Africa, (…) I absolutely love the time I spend in South Africa, I always return home full of ideas to try” she adds.
This year marks her fifth harvest in South Africa and her third at Boekenhoutskloof in the Franschhoek Valley. “I met Rita in September 2014 at her property in the Douro. I was immediately impressed by her wines and unconventional approach to the ‘wine business’”, says Marc Kent. “Her energy and wit in the cellar is incredible and she has amazing ‘feel’ for the cellar. As an individual, she has an incredible intellect and is a clear and decisive thinker”.
Great Domaines started importing Rita Marques’ wines in 2015 and in a very short space of time her following in South Africa has grown tremendously. “There is lots of excitement in Portugal at present in terms of the dry wines currently being produced in the country and importing Rita’s wines represented a perfect opportunity to be a part of this” says Great Domaines general manager Derek Kilpin. “With certain fine wines around the world pushing the price barriers, wine-lovers are always on the look-out for under-the-radar wines from countries that haven’t perhaps been given the recognition they deserve. Rita’s range is very authentic and made with a true philosophy of not wanting to put too much of a wine-making stamp on her wines. Importantly they are coming out at price points that we feel offer great value for money for the quality that is in the bottle, and the customers that have bought and experienced the wines feel the same way”, adds Derek.
Rita will be in South Africa from the 3rd of February until the 16th of February. A tutored tasting with limited seating will be organised on the 9th of February in Cape Town at Bocca in Bree Street and on the 16th of February in Johannesburg at Great Domaines’ cellar. Please email info@GreatDomaines.co.za for further details.