Portugal (click on each name for more information)
Via Latina (Region: Vinho Verde): Via Latina is the brand for a collaborative project of small growers in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. The growers are all independent small farms and together they also use the administrative and marketing services of a co-op in the area named Vercoope. I was very impressed with the expressiveness of their single varietal wines and the purity of fruit behind the wines and have selected three separate varietals (two whites, Azal and Loureiro, and an Espadeiro Rose) and also a white blend of Arinto, Loureiro, and Trajadura.
Ermelinda Freitas (Region: Setubal): Setubal is a large wine region below Lisbon where many of the native varietals are grown in a very expressive way. Ermelinda Freitas has long been a pioneer in the area is raising the quality of farming and vineyard management and producing very high quality wines. My initial selections from this very respected producer are a white blend (Fernao Pires and Arinto) and a red blend (Castelao, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon).