When two of the world’s leading and most innovative companies in their respective fields pooled both talent and resources, the chances were that the end result was odds-on to be nothing short of spectacular.
Bodegas Portia is the vital Ribera del Duero arm of Faustino, which launched the project in the 1990s having pinpointed a clutch of premium, Tempranillo-dedicated territories in the so-called Golden Triangle of the region.
Faustino’s keen eye was rewarded with a plethora of trophies and high-scoring reviews, but it arguably didn’t have a proper winery it could call home, meaning the next, most self-evident step in its evolution was to build one.
Founded in London’s flourishing 1960s, Sir Norman Foster’s burgeoning architectural practice swiftly established itself as being archetypally Best of British.
It has long since gone global, with hubs in over 20 countries around the world which have brought in more than 500 awards and won outright in excess of 100 national and international competitions.
Certainly, if it were possible to handpick architects for your daring, icon project, then Foster & Partners would reside towards the top - if not at the very apex - of any shortlist, so it was unsurprising that Faustino did just that, duly cherry-picking and charging it with modelling Portia’s brand-new address.
Spread over three layers and moulded into the gently undulating landscape, its glazed internal core is central to Portia’s idea of a transparent winery. It affords visitors unrestricted vantage points, from where the grapes begin their gravity-fed journey through the roof of the structure, as well as views deep into the three wings which house all stages of the production process; including the 750,000-capacity bottle room, a barrel cellar home to 7,000 French and American oak barrels, plus the production hub itself and the array of leading-edge equipment contained within.
It is this ethos of welcoming wine tourists with open arms which taps directly into Portia’s desire to be a destination in its own right. Aside from showing us behind the scenes of the production, there is a menu of experiences to choose from, including family-centred tours, an aroma workshop, plus night time visits with nocturnal wine tasting and cuisine. Finally, regardless of how you journey through Portia, the Triennia Gastrobar is constantly on hand for nourishment, from on-the-go tapas snacks through to contemporary fine dining.
Of course aesthetics is one thing; the real proof of the pudding is in the eating but the results are suitably impressive, as displayed in no uncertain terms by the 2016 release of Prima; one of its jewels.
Crafted with the land’s finest fruit and handled with kid gloves from start to finish, this is finished with 15 months in the most polished of French oak and went on to garner 97 points and a Platinum Trophy at the 2018 Decanter Asia Wine Awards; a more than fitting tribute to the stunningly-fashioned home that created it, as well as the relentless drive and 360-degree thinking behind Bodegas Portia.
Translated by ICY
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