There are signs in life that come unannounced — almost all of them, I reckon — and stand their ground in our minds, our routines, our dreams. And paths cross, hands are shaken, things get done. When it comes to wine, I’m sure this happens all the time, but I’m going to go ahead and say the Caminhos Cruzados case is a special one, as its own name would gladly suggest — it means “crossed paths” in Portuguese and it couldn’t be more suiting.
Founded in 2012 thanks to the inquisitive mind of Paulo Coelho dos Santos, a businessman originally from Nelas, a quiet town in Viseu, central Portugal, Caminhos Cruzados started out as something fun to work on, but soon became his lifelong, now fulfilled, dream. There were only two or three hectares of vineyard at first, a family heirloom, but Paulo decided to invest in renting more hectares at Quinta da Teixuga, which later led him to buy part of that estate, and thus the journey began.
Lígia Santos, former attorney, joined her father in his endeavors in 2014, and she’s now his right hand and runs things at Caminhos Cruzados. Together they’ve been taking care of about 50 hectares of vineyard, growing in one of the richest, most special regions in the country, Dão, which is protected by Caramulo, Montemuro, Buçaco, and Estrela mountains, therefore producing some of the most outstanding grapes: Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen and Tinta Roriz (red) and Encruzado, Bical and Malvasia Fina (white).
2017 marked the grand opening of the new winery at Quinta da Teixuga, a bold, x-shaped piece of stunning concrete laying on the greenery of the grapes surrounding it, an astonishing project designed by architect Nuno Pinto Cardoso, who took upon himself to not only build something magnificent, but to make it sustainable and environmentally friendly as well. This new “home” sealed the deal and boosted Caminhos Cruzados into a whole other level, one they’ve deserved since forever.
“Titular” is their shining star, a collection of structured, robust wines, yet there are other reasons to smile here: “Teixuga”, their crown jewel of exclusive Encruzado and Touriga Nacional nectar, matured for 19 and 24 months, respectively, in new French oak barrels, and “Terras de Santar” and “Terras de Nelas”, a fresh take on an easy-to-drink yet elegant range that’s perfect for special occasions.
The only sane thing to do here is definitely to start planning your trip to Portugal, specifically the Dão region, and look for this beautiful winery to spend a couple of days at, tasting wine and discovering everything that is to know about Caminhos Cruzados and Quinta da Teixuga.
Text by Soraia Martins
Pictures © Caminhos Cruzados