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Portugal’s Missing Link: The Wine Inspired by Ancient Fossils

NPR Wine Club When fifth-generation José Luís Santos Lima Oliveira da Silva decided to plant a new vineyard back in 2013, he expected lots of dirt and construction equipment.

He did not expect dinosaurs.

Soon after the team at José’s winery, Casa Santos Lima, broke ground on their vineyard expansion, they began unearthing numerous giant boulders – followed by caches of different stones. Those different stones, of course, turned out to be fossilized dinosaur bones.

José and the Casa Santos Lima team may have been taken off guard by their accidental archeology, but paleontologists … not so much. In fact, just a 40-minute drive away from Casa Santos Lima lies the once-sleepy town of Lourinhã – now famous for its mass of Jurassic fossils and booming dino-related tourism business.

So what do you do with ancient dinosaur bones when your job is to make wine?

If you’re José’s winemaker, Diogo Sepúlveda, you get inspired. Diogo decided to make a wine in honor of these giants and turned to his favorite grapes for help. Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo in neighboring Spain) Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet, and Syrah are all well-known for making extremely powerful red wines – perfect for Diogo’s new pet project.  If you’re looking to channel your inner Michael Crighton or Ross Gellar – or if you’re just thirsty for a really rich, luscious red – you can taste Stones and Bones for yourself, as part of the exclusive NPR Wine Club introductory collection.

After spending weeks tweaking the blend to get the flavors just right, he decided to call it pedras e ossos … “Stones and Bones” in English. And no bones about it – it’s become a huge success.

The last two vintages in a row, Stones and Bones landed a coveted spot on Wine Enthusiast’s Best Buy list and earned 90 points on the publication’s 100-point scale. Editors raved about the 2014 vintage: “This is a bold wine, full of spice and rich tannins. With blackberry flavors, it is concentrated, dense and certainly ripe.”

By | 2017-11-12T17:36:24-05:00 November 10th, 2017|Categories: NPR Wine Club, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |