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Portuguese President pays homage to Antonio Guedes, who helped transform recognition of Vinho Verde region

Published:  12 September, 2022

Portugal’s President has paid homage to the late António Guedes, a former chairman of Quinta da Avelada, the biggest Vinho Verde producer and exporter, who transformed viticultural practices in the northern Portuguese region from the 1960s onwards.

Guedes, an engineer and viticulturist, who was part of the fourth generation of the winemaking family, died on Friday 9 September, aged 83.

“A leading figure in the Vinho Verde region, António Guedes (pictured, centre) leaves a legacy not only at Quinta da Aveleda, but throughout the Portuguese wine sector, having brought innovation and excellence that were a motivation and inspiration to many,” said President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in a statement.

De Sousa expressed his sorrow for the death of Guedes and sent his deepest condolences to his family and friends.

António Guedes, son of Roberto van Zeller Guedes, joined Quinta da Aveleda after the sudden death of his father in the 1960s. He dedicated the time he had available to the position of technical director of Aveleda while attending the military service.

Guedes travelled to vineyards in Argentina, Chile, South Africa, California, and several European countries, before introducing modern viticultural methods more suitable to the Vinho Verde region.

Under his management, Quinta da Aveleda’s vineyards were converted to mechanized vineyards, and new plantations were made in Meinedo and Mondim de Basto.

Aveleda expanded to 170ha of vineyards and the company has since expanded to own 450 ha of vineyards. Turnover reached €44 million in 2021.

Together with his brothers, Luis, and Roberto, Guedes formed a cohesive and responsible force helping consolidate the company, Quinta da Aveleda said.

António and Martim Guedes, the company's current directors, said: "With more than 45 years of enormous dedication to this house and this family, [António Guedes] left a great work done and leaves us today with a huge legacy of continuing to do what he has always done well.

“He leaves many memories, many good memories, many teachings, and leaves much to be missed. He was an exemplary person, and his memory will live forever on these walls and in these gardens."