Erin Scala explores the wines of Pico Island, a part of the Portuguese Azores in the Atlantic Ocean.
Erin puts on sturdy boots and ventures to the Azores to explore mysterious vineyards and ancient lava stone walls in view of the giant volcano on Pico Island. She explores grape varieties grown on Pico, such as Arinto dos Açores, Terrantez do Pico, and Verdelho, and describes the wines made from them. She also details local traditions associated with winemaking on the island, as well as the geography of the place and its history.
Erin speaks with several different people who live and work on Pico today, leading a tour to many of the top wine producer addresses on the island. In the process, she also goes into specifics about what some of the top producers are up to in regards to topics like oxidation, reduction, pressing, and wine aging, touching on the wide range of wines on made on the island. Erin finds out about some of the distinctive vineyard practices on the island. She also gives a sense of some of the different personalities amongst the winemakers and vine growers. In the process, Erin reveals the renaissance of winemaking that has occurred in recent years on the island, as well as explaining what occurred to send vine growing into decline there many decades ago.
Across this episode, Erin interweaves the culture, context, and history of this area of Portugal into the survey of the wines there. Listeners will hear about the distinct cheese of the island, the spiritual significance of the soups there, the effects of the vineyard walls, the impact of the whaling industry on Pico, and "The Year of the Noise". More than a sense of place, Erin also conveys a sense of the sublime. She takes you to some of the hardest vineyards to farm on Planet Earth, and gives you a fantastic sense of why it is important to do so.
This episode features commentary from (listed in order of appearance):
Vanda Supa, Director of Environment and Climate Change of Pico
Monica Silva Goulart, Architectural Expert of the Pico Island Vineyards
Paulo Machado, Insula and Azores Wine Company
Dr. Joy Ting, Enologist at the Winemaker's Research Exchange
António Maçanita, Azores Wine Company
Catia Laranjo, Etnom
André Ribeiro and Ricardo Pinto, Entre Pedras
Lucas Lopez Amaral (translated by Paulo Machado), Adega Vitivinícola Lucas Amaral
Tito Silva (translated by Fortunato Garcia), Cerca dos Frades
Jose Eduardo and Luisa Terra, Pocinho Bay
Fortunato Garcia, Czar Winery
Bernardo Cabral, Picowines Co-op
Filipe Rocha, Azores Wine Company
Christina Cunha (for her uncle Leonardo da Silva), Santo Antonio Carcarita
Marco Faria, Curral Atlantis Winery