Owners of Quinta de Covela in the Vinho Verdes region and of the D.O.C. Douro brando Tecedeiras, the Lima Smith partnership was founded in 2011 by Brazilian Marcelo Lima and Briton Tony Smith. Both are passionate advocates for Portuguese wines, especially the ones they produce along the Douro Valley, and hold a firm belief in the potential of top-quality Portuguese wines in world markets.
The partners began their Odyssey in the wine business in July 2011, acquiring Quinta de Covela, a romantically beautiful property on the right bank of the Douro river where granitic soils mark the transition zone between the Douro and the Minho (in this case, the Baião sub-region of the Vinhos Verdes D.O.C.). The duo breathed new life into a revered but moribund estate, re-hiring the viticulture and winemaking teams, renewing both vineyards and winery. The first fruit of these investments was the re-launch of Covela’s characterful wines in 2013. Returning to the market were the classic Covela Escolha Branco 2012 and Covela Escolha Tinto 2012 – both unoaked blends, plus a vibrantly new wine – the Edição Nacional Branco 2012 – the first Vinho Verde ever commercialized by Covela and made of its flagship grape – Avesso. These wines, bearing the signature of winemaker Rui Cunha, involved at Covela since its inception as a commercial vineyard in the 1990s, received excellent critics and both white wines sold out just a few months after their launch. For its extensive and careful recuperation and reform of the Covela vineyards, Lima Smith was awarded the 2013 Viticulture of the Year prize by Revista de Vinhos, Portugal’s most respected wine magazine.
A step into the D.O.C. Douro was taken that same year when the partners purchased the Tecedeiras brand from the Global Wine/Dão Sul group. The first wines and superior olive oils from the property, which is leased to Lima Smith for 30 years, were launched in the final quarter of 2014. As of 2018, Lima Smith began producing Tormes, a classical Vinho Verde, for the Eça de Queiroz Foundation, a museum dedicated to the 19th Century Portuguese diplomat and prolific author.
Marcelo Lima, a native of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, is shareholder of the Artesia group, which has interests in several sectors and countries – from commercial refrigeration to fashion retail.
Tony Smith is a British-born journalist-turned-wine-producer, a former foreign correspondent for The Associated Press and The New York Times, and more recently a media executive for Condé Nast International. He first came to Portugal in 1988 and has lived for several years in Portugal and Brazil.
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