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Grand Jury

On the 20th of February of 2018, History was made in Paço dos Cunhas, at the village of Santar, in the heart of Dão.


On this day, for the first time in Portugal, a wine making company took a leap of faith by submitting a wine to the critics at the same time as it was presented to the public and even before it reached the stores. The stakes were high and the challenge was bold, but we believed, with perfect confidence, that we had a wine of extraordinary quality. That day will be always reminded as the first day of a new Paço dos Cunhas and it’s iconic “Vinha do Contador” wine history.

To milestone the moment, we gave the brand “Vinha do Contador” a new labelling that respects the roots of that place, highlighting the coat of arms of D. Pedro da Cunha’s family. However, for the red wine we had two different labels, ready to be applied on the bottles: “Vinha do Contador” red and “Vinha do Contador Grande Júri” red.

We believed that the wine we were presenting on that day was the best “Vinha do Contador” ever, but we anted to be neutral and put that decision on the hands of an international jury. A group of professionals in the wine making business, impartial and independent, coming from all over the world. That is why we joined Revista dos Vinhos, in their Essência do Vinho, and brought to Paço dos Cunhas part of the team that was in their jury for the tasting of their annual Top 10.

They tasted three old harvests with the best scores yet (2004, 2008, 2009) in order to understand what a Vinha do Contador is. Then, we asked them to taste and rate the new 2011 harvest.

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History was made

It was an ordeal, but we passed it with flying colours. And Dão wrote another page in the History of wine in Portugal.


On the 20th of February of 2018, the jury tasted and rated the wine, anonymously and according to the rules of some of the most important wine contests. For this purpose, the Paço dos Cunhas’ governing board established that “whenever a wine seems to have characteristics that make it extraordinary, it will be taken to the Grand Jury's test and, if it obtains more than 94 points, it will be labelled as “Vinha do Contador Grande Júri”. With both labels printed and ready to use, the jury did the tasting and the 2011 red wine got a 95,33 score. It was labelled immediately in front of the Grand Jury, which is unheard of in the History of wine in Portugal. This was more than just an introduction of a wine into the market, it was an evaluation and a validation of a new and innovative concept. For the first time, a Portuguese wine, a wine from Paço dos Cunhas, a wine from Dão, was introduced into the market after an evaluation that happened at the same time as the presentation. It was an ordeal, but we passed it with flying colours. And Dão wrote another page in the History of wine in Portugal.

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