My name is José Abiíio Gonçalves and I was born into a world of stacks of wood waiting to be turned into barrels for wines and high-grade distillates.
Our company, Tanoaria J. M. Gonçalves, is the setting in which every member of our family has worked for over one hundred years.
Put like that, it seems like an obligation, but the truth is that every single one of us has an innate passion for this work.
Take me for example. I studied oenology and share the sense of responsibility with my five siblings and the other twenty-five shareholders for a profession that makes a decisive contribution to the taste and quality of some of the best wines and distillates in the world.
I realise that, in a world like the one we live in, the word “responsibility” may seem old-fashioned, rather like the wooden barrels.
And yet, it is the driving force which motivates us to check every element of a production line made up of age-old gestures, attention to detail and respect for the natural cycle of things.
Together, just like the three generations of Gonçalves before us, we all personally oversee the procurement of the wood, the drying stage and assembly of the barrels.
We do not delegate anything: which perhaps explains why we are one of the companies with the most certifications in the world.
Above all, however, we never forget that our job is to provide a vital component for refining the best wines and distillates. We are responsible for creating one of the basic elements which is the foundation of the unique taste of all the products which are left to age in our barrels.
Nature also plays an important role. We are situated near the Douro Natural Park in Portugal and the purity of the air is decisive in the final performance. In the two or three-year period of natural drying, the wood lives, breathes and becomes part of the environment in which it has been processed.
We are the artisans who transform the fragrance of the wood into taste. A unique taste for refined palates around the world.