Conceito owner/winemaker Rita Ferreira Marques is a rising young star in Portugal’s Douro Valley. Rita began her university days pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, however the call of her family’s vineyards in the Eastern Douro Valley was too strong to resist and Rita switched concentrations to complete her degree in Oenology. Rita augmented her studies through internships with renowned wineries in Bordeaux, California, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Douro Valley. It was in the Douro Valley with winemaker Dirk Nieport, that she honed her craft of producing dry Portuguese wines.
In 2005, Rita’s mother offered her the opportunity to make wine from her pick of the family’s vineyards which had been selling grapes to local port house since the 1960s. Rita produced her first dry wines in 2006 under the label Conceito (Concept) and built a small winery a few years later.
The Conceito wines are truly special, wines that represent Portugal’s unique terroir and Rita’s hands-off approach. The young winemaker says it has become “more about best grapes than best wines,” which means “less extraction, more persistence, lightness and focus than before.” The elegance of the wines is more apparent than ever and is consistently praised by the wine press.