Sapateiro Wines: From Vineyard to Glass

A hand holding a glass of Sapateiro wine

The tale of Sapateiro Wines unfolds as a story of passion and transformation, starting with the founder’s father, who delved into winemaking as a hobby, despite his nickname as a shoemaker.

From humble beginnings of planting vines and making wine for family and friends, the venture gradually evolved into a serious winemaking business.

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Tiago, Sapateiro’s founder and winemaker, to uncover the captivating story behind their wines — a tale of tradition, innovation, and the unwavering dedication to producing wines that speak to the soul of Portugal.

Join me as we dive into these incredible Portuguese wines.

The Sapateiro Wines Journey

From Shoemaker to Winemaker: The Sapateiro Origin Story

The seeds of Sapateiro Wines were sown not in vast vineyards, but within the soul of a man revered as ‘the shoemaker’. The founder’s father, a craftsman of footwear by trade, carried a zest for life that transcended beyond leathers and soles, leading him to the earthy terrains of winemaking.

This unlikely journey began in their own backyard, with hands tending to vines and hearts pouring into barrels.

What was initially a pastime blossomed into a beacon of their heritage, as each bottle began to capture the essence of Portugal’s rich soil and the spirited determination of its people.

As the vines grew, so did their ambitions, and Sapateiro Wines took its first steps from an intimate family hobby to a burgeoning label synonymous with quality and the pursuit of excellence in winemaking.

A picture of Antonio

The New Generation Steps In: The Evolution of Sapateiro Wines

Tiago’s entry into the family business marked a pivotal chapter in the Sapateiro Wines saga.

Armed with fresh perspectives and a commitment to legacy, he infused new life into the vineyards. His approach blended reverence for time-honored methods with a keen eye for innovation, propelling the brand into the modern age of winemaking. The evolution was not just about adopting new techniques but also about expanding the narrative that each bottle of Sapateiro wine held.

Tiago’s travels and experiences brought a global sensibility to local traditions, ensuring that every sip offered a taste of Portugal’s past and present.

Sustainability became a cornerstone under his stewardship, ensuring that the land that gave them so much would be preserved for future generations.

Thus, Sapateiro Wines continued to grow, not just in size, but in depth, character, and reach.

A picture of Tiago

Discovering the Wines of Sapateiro

Breaking the Rules: The Unique Styles of Sapateiro Wines

Sapateiro Wines stand out in the crowded wine market by daring to defy convention. Each bottle is a testament to the adventurous spirit that the brand embodies.

Rather than following strict guidelines, Sapateiro opts for creativity and intuition to guide the winemaking process. The result is a portfolio of wines that are as distinct as they are memorable.

From bold reds that carry the robust essence of local grape varieties to crisp whites that echo the coastal breeze, these wines break the mold. Tiago’s willingness to experiment with aging processes and blend unconventional varietals together has created a lineup that surprises and delights.

It’s not just about the flavor profiles, but the stories that each bottle tells — stories of innovation, passion, and a relentless pursuit of crafting something truly special.

Bottles of Sapateiro wines

Portuguese Terroir: What Sets Portuguese Wines Apart

At the heart of Sapateiro Wines lies the rich terroir of Portugal, a diverse tapestry of landscapes that breathes life into every bottle. The unique climate, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, creates an ideal environment for cultivating grapes with distinctive character.

This terroir imbues Portuguese wines with a balance of ripeness and acidity that is hard to find elsewhere. Sapateiro’s vineyards are strategically positioned to harness these natural gifts, from sun-drenched slopes to soil types that lend complexity to the wines.

The indigenous grape varieties, often unheard of outside of Portugal, offer an exciting palette for winemaking. Varietals like Touriga Nacional and Alvarinho are just the beginning of a long list that gives Portuguese wines their signature profiles.

It’s this combination of earth, climate, and local grapes that sets Portuguese wines apart, providing a sense of place in each glass.

Related: Portuguese Wines 101 – Everything You Need to Know

The Wines: A Few of My Favorites

Alvarinho & Avesso

My journey through the portfolio of Sapateiro wines has acquainted me with many a captivating character. However, if there’s one that particularly dances in my mind, it’s their Alvarinho and Avesso blend – a beautiful ballerina pirouetting through the stage of my palate. 

Sapateiro’s Alvarinho and Avesso blend is a delightful white wine that captures the essence of Portuguese winemaking. Its golden color, fruity aroma, and silky mouthfeel create a symphony of taste with flavors of pear, citrus, tropical fruit, and hazelnut. The freshness of the wine is countered by a hint of salinity, leaving a lasting finish.

Shop Alvarinho & Avesso (10% off 175€+ with code “paige”)


I was particularly excited to try their Loureiro, as it’s a unique varietal I’ve never had solo before!

The nose was an intriguing blend of stone fruit and lime cordial. On the palate, it was reminiscent of a Riesling — aromatic and crisp, with a crunchiness to it. It’s an overall refreshing experience – crisp, and clearly showcasing the minimal intervention approach.

Shop Lourero (10% off 175€+ with code “paige”)


A Bottle of Sapateiro wines
A Bottle of Sapateiro wines

Wanted – The Captain

After hearing Tiago talk about these wines, I was absolutely intrigued to give them a try myself!

Venturing into Sapateiro’s Wanted series is akin to setting sail with a pirate crew on an audacious quest for vinous treasure, boldly straying from the traditional confines of regional representation.

This inventive collection, reminiscent of the lawless charm of old west WANTED posters, instead celebrates a band of buccaneers whose bounty is the wine itself. The strikingly unique labels for each wine are not just artistic renditions; they signify the individual narrative and charm imparted by each member of this roguish assembly upon their respective creations.

For this inaugural foray, Wanted – The Captain stands at the helm. On a seemingly whimsical Sunday decision, the captain, or in this case, the winemaker, eschewed convention, allowing the Touriga Nacional grapes to bathe in the Portuguese sun a while longer, ensuring a bolder, fully ripened harvest.

This spur-of-the-moment inspiration gave rise to a notable monovarietal expression, nurtured for 16 months in new French oak casks and further refined through 8 months of bottle aging. With a scarce 250 bottles released, this limited edition promises to be as rare and sought-after as any treasure adorning a pirate legend.

Shop Wanted (10% off 175€+ with code “paige”)

A Bottle of Sapateiro wines

A Taste of Portugal: Wine Pairings with Sapateiro Wines

Sapateiro Wines not only stand out for their unique character but also for their versatility in pairing with a variety of dishes.

The robust reds, with their tannic backbone and dark fruit notes, are perfect alongside Portugal’s hearty meat dishes like cozido à portuguesa.

The bright and aromatic whites cut through the richness of seafood, enhancing flavors in dishes such as bacalhau à brás.

For those who lean towards the innovative, the rosés serve as an excellent companion to lighter fare, including salads and grilled vegetables, tying in beautifully with the fresh flavors.

Each Sapateiro wine is a reflection of Portugal’s culinary diversity, offering a harmonious blend with traditional and modern recipes. Whether it’s a formal dinner or a casual gathering, there’s a Sapateiro wine to elevate every meal and occasion, encapsulating the vibrant spirit of Portuguese gastronomy.

Join the Adventure: The Sapateiro Wine Club

Exclusive Access: Benefits of Joining the Sapateiro Wine Club

Joining the Sapateiro Wine Club is not just about receiving a selection of fine wines; it’s about becoming part of a community that shares a passion for Portugal’s rich winemaking heritage.

Members gain exclusive access to limited-edition wines, crafted only in small batches for the most discerning palates. Tiago personally gets to know your preferences, selecting the best wines from his portfolio, just for you.

Additionally, members enjoy preferred pricing, ensuring that your exploration of Portuguese wines is both adventurous and value-conscious.

Being part of the Sapateiro Wine Club means embarking on a journey that’s both culturally rich and personally rewarding.

Join the wine club – Use code “paige” for 10% off on orders above 175 €

Sapateiro wines tasting room

Visit In Person: Experience Portugal First-Hand

For the true connoisseur or the adventurous spirit, nothing compares to visiting the source of Sapateiro Wines.

Tiago and his family welcomes guests with open arms. You’re invited to experience Portugal first-hand, with exclusive tours of the vineyards and cellars where the magic happens.

Walking the rows of vines, you’ll feel the sun that ripens the grapes and the breeze that whispers through the leaves. Tasting sessions held in the heart of the winery offer insights into the nuances of each vintage, directly from the experts.

The personal connections made during these visits turn visitors into family, and the vineyard into a home away from home. With each visit, you deepen your understanding and appreciation for the wines of Sapateiro, and the land that gives them life.

A Sapateiro winery with dogs

The Adventure Continues

As we’ve explored, Sapateiro Wines have journeyed from the humble backyard of a shoemaker to emerging as a beacon of Portuguese winemaking. The story doesn’t end here. In fact, this is just the beginning of a new chapter, a new adventure with endless possibilities.

I hope you’ll join me in the adventure and sip along with them as they continue to grow. Cheers!

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