Interviews

Vineyard Chronicles: Parras Wines' Legacy of Tradition and Innovation

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16/04/2024 Crafting Superior Wines, Sustaining Communities, and Embracing Terroir

In the heart of Portugal's rich wine country lies a story of dedication, innovation, and a profound respect for tradition. Parras Vinhos de Luís Vieira, now known as Parras Wines, emerged in 2010 with a vision to redefine the wine industry, marrying heritage with modernity. Led by Luís Vieira, the company embarked on a remarkable journey that spans vineyards, bottling units, and partnerships across multiple regions. With a commitment to quality, sustainability, and community, Parras Wines has not only transformed the way we experience wine but has also left an indelible mark on society. In this editorial interview, we talk to Luís Vieira about the captivating narrative behind Parras Wines, exploring its history, team, strategies, and vision for the future.

Can you share the inspiration behind the founding of Parras Wines and how the company's journey has evolved since its inception in 2010?

Parras Vinhos was founded in 2010 by Luís Vieira and is currently headquartered in Alcobaça, where the group's bottling unit - Goanvi Bottling - is also located. Five years later, with the company consolidated and focused on the international market, the need arises to reposition the brand and “dress it up” in another, more current way. And so, Parras Wines appears at the beginning of 2016, with a younger, more flexible look, and in a universal language so that it can be easily understood by everyone, even those who are across borders.

Image: Goanvi Bottling, a bottling unit of Parras Wines.

Descended from a father and grandfather who have always worked with wine, Luís Vieira is the sole owner of this project. At the age of five, he fell into a wine vat and almost drowned, had it not been for a collaborator of his grandfather, who is currently his collaborator, saving him. Today, he jokes when he recalls this episode and even says that it symbolizes his “baptism in the wanderings of wine”.

How has the team at Parras Wines contributed to the company's success, particularly in maintaining the quality and uniqueness of your wines across different regions?

A team of winemakers and winegrowers from Parras Wines works daily during the complete cycle of the vine, from the rest period until the harvest season, to guarantee the production of superior quality nectars. In addition to the constant work on our lands in the Lisbon and Alentejo Regions, the group's winemaking and winegrowing team also accompanies the local producers, Parras Wines partners, in the Douro, Vinhos Verdes, Dão and Tagus regions, thus guaranteeing the best wines from six wine regions of the country.

Image: A team of winemakers and winegrowers from Parras closely monitors the work and guarantees an integrated transport service for all wines that the group sells.

Could you elaborate on the marketing and growth strategies employed by Parras Wines to expand its presence both domestically and internationally?

Herdade da Candeeira, owned by Parras Wines, has Sustainable Production, certified by the “Alentejo Wine Sustainability Program”. This achievement reflects the unwavering commitment we have to preserving the environment, conserving natural resources, and promoting sustainable practices in wine production. By receiving this certification, we reaffirm our commitment to using natural resources responsibly and efficiently, obliging us to implement sustainable agricultural practices that contribute to soil conservation and the protection of local biodiversity.

In terms of production methods, what sets Parras Wines apart from other wineries, and how do you ensure sustainability throughout the production process?

By implementing sustainable agricultural practices that contribute to soil conservation and the protection of local biodiversity. We thus promote the responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers, protecting the region's fauna and flora, and preserving it for future generations. It is an ongoing journey, and we will continue to invest in practices and technologies that reinforce environmental, social, and economic responsibility.

Image: Terroir in the Lisbon Region - Herdade da Candeeira, with 70 hectares of vineyards, and Herdade da Vigia, with 140 hectares of vineyards.

What are some of the innovative experiments or new ventures that Parras Wines is currently exploring to stay ahead in the competitive wine industry?

Thanks to the fact that the discussion around sustainability has gained strength in recent years, today we refer to it as a global movement. The future of the planet is an urgent concern that is being approached from various levels: governmental, industrial but also personal. We humans are becoming more aware of our actions, and taking more responsibility while making decisions. And Parras Wines answered the call.

Image: Winners of Sommeliers Choice Awards 2022.

Reflecting on your achievements, what do you consider to be the most significant milestone or success story for Parras Wines thus far?

In 2020, the Parras Wines group was distinguished as Company of the Year by Revista de Vinhos. Quinta do Gradil, owned by the Parras Group, is also distinguished by the sector's press as Producer of the Year 2020, by Grandes Escolhas magazine.

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Conclusion:

As we conclude our exploration of Parras Wines, it becomes evident that this is more than just a winemaking company—it's a reflection of passion, resilience, and the timeless art of crafting exceptional wines. From its humble beginnings to its current standing as an industry leader, Parras Wines continues to push boundaries, embracing innovation while honoring tradition. As consumers, enthusiasts, and admirers of fine wine, we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in the remarkable journey of Parras Wines.

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

The 2024 Sommeliers Choice Awards results are out! View the results here.