Who we are
With more than 100 years of life, Poças is currently in the hands of the 4th generation, being one of the rare Port Wine companies that was born Portuguese and has remained in the hands of the same family since its foundation.
Maria Manuel Maia represents the 4th generation of the Poças family. With a degree in agricultural engineering from the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, and a post-graduate degree in Oenology from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Maria Manuel has been in charge of viticulture at Poças since 2005, manages the 3 family estates, and has been a director of the company since 2020.
A firm believer in the unusual qualities to be found in the vineyards of the Douro, which she manages with a careful eye, Maria Manuel runs the agricultural production system based on best practice and respect for nature, sustainable management of natural resources and on the use of natural control mechanisms such as the planting of hedges, maintenance of the variety of plant species, and the use of cattle for controlling weeds. In order to contribute to and encourage sustainable agriculture, the Poças vineyards at Numão and Ervedosa do Douro have been certified as agricultural integrated production systems since 2013.
“Each blend an enigma.”
Pedro Pintão has been director of marketing and communications at Poças since 2018, and president of the board of directors since 2020. Pedro, one of the great-grandsons of the founder of Poças, had always hoped that he would one day work for the company, which came to pass in 2006 when he accepted the role of sales director – a job which his father before him had held for over 50 years.
Together with his cousins, Pedro encourages innovation and creative vision, with his main mission being to promote and bring value to the heritage of the Douro region and its wines. He recognizes the fact that, particularly in relation to Port, “innovation is always welcome”. Pedro has a clear strategy of repositioning the brand in the market based on a versatile house portfolio and the strong links with the artistic community that Poças has built up over the last few years.
“Some innovation is always welcome in Port”
Paulo Pintão has, like his cousins and brother Jorge, been brought up in the world of winemaking, with holidays and outings to the estates on the Douro, and with regular visits to company headquarters.
A long-time lover of photography, Paulo saw the potential of the company at an early age and wanted to be part of the family business.
In 2008, having gained a great deal of professional experience in the wider world, Paulo joined the board and is the 4th member of the 4th generation of the Poças family to work at the company. He has been a member of the Poças board since 2020.
Jorge Manuel Pintão, great-grandson of the founder of the company, has a degree in chemistry and a masters in oenology from the “Institut d’Oenologie de Bordeaux”, where he met Pascal Ribereau Gayon and Denis Dubourdieu. He made use of his time in France to gain work experience at the prestigious Château Giscours in the region of Margaux, as well as working for a small producer in the Alsace to learn more about white wines.
Jorge Pintão has headed the quality and oenology team at Poças since 1986 when he joined the family firm, a position which is especially interesting to him as he considers that the production of wine in the region of the Douro is in itself a “challenge to nature”.
In 1990, Jorge convinced the company to embark on the production of Douro DOC wines, going against current opinion at that time. It was however clear to him that given the high concentration of tannins and sugars in the grapes of the region, the Douro was the ideal location for the production of high-quality table wines.
He has received several awards at international competitions, amongst which that of “Oenologist of the Year – Fortified Wines” at the International Wine Challenge in 2001.
The oenology team at Poças was enriched, in 2015, by the addition of André Pimentel Barbosa to the company. André has his own unique approach to oenology and has brought many new ideas and projects to the house.
In 2014, Poças embarked on a partnership with Hubert de Boüard, the renowned French oenologist, owner of the Château Angélus (Saint-Emilion) and de La Fleur de Boüard (Lalande-de-Pomerol) in Bordeaux. Highly experienced and knowledgeable in the production of superior quality red and white wines, Boüard is supported by his associate Philippe Nunes.
This partnership reflects the serious commitment of our brand to the quality of the Douro DOC wines we produce and involves continuous monitoring and periodic visits focussing not only on oenology but also on viticulture, the cultivation and harvesting of grapes.
Enchanted by the particularities of our soil and a big fan of old vineyards, Hubert de Boüard also believes strongly in the importance of preserving, in our wines, the legacy of the Douro grape varieties and the unique characteristics of the Terroir of the region.
Poças has three estates – or “Quintas”, with one in each sub-region of the Upper Douro wine region, with a total area of 100 hectares, of which 75 hectares are planted with vines. Douro Demarcated Region is the oldest documented area of viticulture in the world and was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.
The estates are Quinta das Quartas in Fontelas (Lower Corgo), Quinta de Santa Bárbara in Ervedosa do Douro (Upper Corgo) and Quinta de Vale de Cavalos in Numão (Upper Douro).
Quinta das Quartas
Quinta das Quartas became part of Poças in 1932, received from a client in payment of a debt, at a time in the earliest days of the company when we only produced a type of brandy – aguardente vínica – used in the production of Port. The estate was renovated in 1985, and is now home to 2.5 hectares of vineyards, the Poças winery and a large warehouse for the ageing of Port, which contains around 25,000 hectolitres of wine in barrels and vats.
Quinta de Vale de Cavalos
Quinta de Vale de Cavalos is located in Numão, in the Upper Douro, very close to the banks of the Teja river. It was purchased by Poças in 1988 at the time that the idea of producing Douro DOC wines was beginning to gain traction within the company.
The Upper Douro is an excellent region for the production of wine, and the 51 hectares of vines that are planted with the best varieties of grapes produce wines of elevated complexity and structure. The altitude of around 520 metres, in combination with the soil which is part-way between schist and granite, brings to these vines a freshness, acidity and minerality that is without equal.
The proximity of the vines to the water, together with the sophisticated ‘drop-by-drop’ watering system that was installed, is the key to dealing with the frequent droughts that occur in this part of the Douro region.
Quinta de Santa Bárbara
This estate, purchased in 1999 and located in Caêdo – Ervedosa do Douro (Upper Corgo), was given the name of an old property belonging to the company in Régua, which was purchased in 1982 and sold in the 90s.
Consisting of around 33 hectares of vines, and with a beautiful walled orange grove, some of the old vines on this estate are used to produce the best Poças Douro DOC wines, despite the fact that this is the traditional region for the production of Port.
Poças represents the Portuguese side of the history of the Douro. It is one of the few fully Portuguese Port companies and has belonged to the same family since its inception.
Poças is a Portuguese family company producing Port and Douro DOC wines. It is proudly run by the family of the same name who founded the company more than a century ago, and so is considered to be “the Portuguese side of the history of wine-making in the Douro”.
The company was founded in 1918 by Manoel Domingues Poças Júnior, who over time managed to convince his family of his knowledge and passion for the world of wine. Poças is currently being run by the 4th generation of the family: Maria Manuel Maia (in charge of oenology and viticulture), Paulo Pintão (production and administration/finance) and Pedro Poças Pintão (sales and marketing).
The head office of the company is in the historic centre of Vila Nova de Gaia, in the same location as the Visitors Centre which has been open to the public since 2016.
Poças currently has three estates with a total area of 100 hectares (75 hectares of vineyards in production), each one located in a different part of the Douro demarcated region: Quinta das Quartas, which is the location for the wine-making centre and where all our wines are produced (Lower Corgo), Quinta de Santa Bárbara, with the much-esteemed older vines (Upper Corgo) and Quinta de Vale de Cavalos, next to the bank of the river Teja and with an altitude, and soil of schist and granite, which give it its defining characteristics (Upper Douro).
With a love of the art of wine-making that is continuously reinforced by its success in opening its wines up to a wider world, Poças looks to the future with confidence, combining the knowledge gained over past decades with the strength and audacity brought by the younger generation.
Our inspiration is and always will be the unparalleled Terroir of the Douro. Combined with the resilience that is emblematic of Poças, we look forward to one day celebrating another 100 years in wine.