Dominó - Vitor Claro

  • Alentejo, Portugal

Vitor Claro started Dominó in 2010, after years working as a chef and running his own restaurant, ‘Claro’, in Paço de Arcos, a resort town outside Lisbon. His career as a chef earned him high praise, and the cult status of his restaurant put him in touch with some of the key players of the wine industry in Portugal. One of them was Dirk Niepoort, the maverick Douro (and beyond) winemaker and producer, who motivated Vitor to pursue a new career, that of a vigneron. After a chance visit to a vineyard in Portalegre, in the Alentejo, Vitor and his wife Rita decided that they wanted to make wine from the old vines they saw, and with the help of Niepoort set out to learn to make wine and work the land.

A decade later, Vitor and Rita are now confirmed vignerons, working vines and making wines from the diverse landscapes of Portugal, a challenging but rewarding endeavor. As a chef Vitor understands how to combine all the different ingredients of the Portuguese terroir and its micro-climates in order to make the wines he wants and likes: fresher wines with bright acidity and clean palates.

So it is that from the coastal vineyards of Lisbon, in Colares, he and Rita make a white and a red which are quintessential Atlantic wines that show tension and salinity; from the schist soils of the Douro they make the Celestino, a highly textured and yet delicate white from old vines of Muscat a Petits Grains; and finally from Alentejo (where they are building their winery) they work the various micro-climates, plots, and altitudes of the region with field blends of very old vines of your typical mind-bending Portuguese grapes (Tinta de Olho Branco, Tamarez, Trincadeira… ), making fragrant and fine wines from a region known mostly for the power of its reds.

Their philosophy is simple. Vitor wants to express that which is not immediately obvious from his vineyards, in order to achieve purity and transparency. Vineyards are worked organically, ripeness is kept in check, and the approach in the cellar is subtle, with soft and short extractions, spontaneous fermentations, no corrections, low sulfur use and very light filtration.

Image PRODUCT Description

DB9472-19
Organic
Branco Colar
2019
Malvasia
Malvasía from the Atlantic Coast, west of Lisbon. Younger vines averaging ten years old from clay-limestone soils. Manually pressed and... Read More

DB9478-18
Organic
Branco Monte Pratas
2018
Alicante Bouschet
The Monte Alegre white is a blend of grapes from very old vines from Portalegre, in the Alentejo. Vitor has white Alicante, Tamarez, Perola... Read More

DB9473-18
Organic
Celestino
2018
Muscat a Petits Grains
100% Muscat a Petits Grains sourced from Quinta da Olga, in the Douro region, a vineyard planted on schist at 600 meters altitude. Half of... Read More

DB9475-18
Organic
Foxtrot
2018
Alicante Bouschet
From a hilly part of the Alentejo, Serra de São Mamede and Portalegre. Old vines averaging 80+ years old from granitic and clay soils. The... Read More

DB9476-18
Organic
Salão Frio
2018
Alicante Bouschet
Salão Frio (or “cold room”) is a village in the middle of the hills of São Mamede, in Portalegre, Alto Alentejo. Soils here are a mix of... Read More

DB9476-17
Organic
Salão Frio
2017
Alicante Bouschet
Salão Frio (or “cold room”) is a village in the middle of the hills of São Mamede, in Portalegre, Alto Alentejo. Soils here are a mix of... Read More

DB9476-16
Organic
Salão Frio
2016
Alicante Bouschet
Salão Frio (or “cold room”) is a village in the middle of the hills of São Mamede, in Portalegre, Alto Alentejo. Soils here are a mix of... Read More

DB9471-18
Organic
Tinto Colar
2018
Castelão
Castelão from the Atlantic Coast, west of Lisbon. Vine age averages 25 years old, grown on clay-limestone soils. Fermented 50% whole-... Read More

DB9471-19
Organic
Tinto Colar
2019
Castelão
Castelão from the Atlantic Coast, west of Lisbon. Vine age averages 25 years old, grown on clay-limestone soils. Fermented 50% whole-... Read More

DB9474-18
Organic
Tinto Colmeal
2018
Blend
This red comes from 5 different parcels in Beira Interior and its a blend of Rufete, Baga, Mouriso, and white Siria. Soils here are a mix... Read More