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Five decades in music – a decade in wine

Sir Cliff Richard is currently on tour to celebrate 50 years in the music industry; his wines celebrate their 10th vintage; are they on track to have a career as equally illustrious as their founder?   

David Baverstock, a Portugal based Australian, who has made some of the country’s finest reds in Esporão in the Alentejo first advised Sir Cliff Richard to change his land from growing figs to vines in 1997. Although the Algarve region has never been renowned as a wine growing area due to the hot dry climate; the cool refreshing Atlantic breeze has proved that the area has indeed got the ability to produce excellent wine.

Winemaker Max Birch believes the 2008 vintage is the best yet from Adega Do Cantor winery and this has recently been endorsed by IWC awards for both Onda Nova Branco and Vida Nova rosé.  The latter wine has also been recognised by a leading Portuguese journalist as Portugal’s finest rosé.

All the initial wines have non indigenous varieties as a fore running grape variety in the blend; yet Max has plans to plant Portugal’s flagship grape variety Touriga Nacional in the region. The focus on quality and innovation has been key to ensuring recognition; positioning the wines, as well as the Algarve region, as a serious leader in innovation and quality from Portugal.

Bob Rishworth, managing director of distributor Chalié Richards comments: ”Sir Cliff’s wines have now reached the status that they should be judged on the merit of the liquid as opposed to his personal endorsement which should be secondary. The continued innovation by Max Birch and his team have established Adega Do Cantor as making serious wines from Portugal and are leading the way in raising the profile of the Algarve as being an area with the potential to make further excellent wines.”

The wines accompanied Sir Cliff Richard on the UK leg of his tour and were sampled by VIP guests and thousands of his fans throughout the UK, a further marketing programme is set to support the brand in 2010 which will include PR and sampling activity.

The range consists of Vida Nova and Onda Nova.  Vida Nova has an RRP of £7.49 and is available as a Tinto with Aragonês, Syrah, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet, as a Rosé with Aragonês and a touch of Syrah, and as a Reserva Syrah Aragonês blend at £10.99.  Onda Nova is available as a Rosé with Aragonês, and as a Tinto with Syrah, and has an RRP of £7.99.  The range is targeted at independent and multiple on trade and selected off trade outlets.

1 November 2009 - Felicity Murray