by Mark Coster for Profile Wine Group, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

Sommelier Zinta Steprens and Chef Doug Neigel’s designed a menu to pair with Rita Ferreira Marques’ exquisite wines. Come enjoy a  5 course meal and 6 distinct indigenous wines with Winemaker Rita Ferreira for 100 dollars:

Reception: 2008 Contraste Red (Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Sousão and Tinta Amarela)


Pairing: 2009 Contraste White (Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Códega and Viosinho)

Second Course: Housemade Tagliatelle with Dungesness Crab and Uni Butter

Pairing: 2009 Conceito white (Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Códega, Viosinho and Gouveio)

Third Course: Braised Lamb Shank with Medjool Date Yogurt and Fingerling Potatoes and Spinach

Pairing: 2008 Bastardo

Fouth Course: St. Jorge Cheese 3 Years from Azores Portugal

Pairing: 2008 Conceito Red

Fifth Course: Warm Chocolate Budino with preserved Ontario Cherries, Honeycomb and Fresh Whipped Cream

Pairing: 2007 Vintage Port

Rita Ferreira Marques, winemaker

Rita is a young woman born in Coimbra, who was unhappy with her Engineering studies. She moved to Vila Real, where she started to learn winemaking, having in mind to care for the family vineyards. Her first winemaking experiments started in the harvest of 2003. Even before she completed her degree with honors, she started to travel around the world to learn with a hands-on approach about harvesting grapes and creating wines. Douro, Bordeaux, California, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand were some of the stops, where she worked with word renowned oenologists such as Denis Dubourdieu, Dirk Niepoort, Jorge Borges, Bruce Jack, George Geris, Marketta Formeaux. Returning home, she issued her first red wine in 2005, but it was not until 2007 that she surprised the Portuguese wine scene by releasing what would become the best Portuguese white wine, Conceito Branco, and raised eyebrows with a red made from pure Bastardo, a shallow-colored red wine from this previously abandoned grape variety. This success came with increasing interest from abroad, with her major brand Conceito and minor brand Contraste receiving increasingly higher interest from world wide wine critics and importers. Rita designs food wines, with a notable purity and remarkable ageing potential. The Portuguese success did not slow down her globetrotting craving. In 2010 she spent 6 weeks in New Zealand to make a Sauvignon Blanc to be released under the brand Conceito, in a totally original move for Portuguese wine producers. At the same time, micro vinifications allow her to further explore her original Douro terroir. Rita is a highly dynamical winemaker, who respects the terroirs she is devoted to, while incorporated her already extensive experience to create personal wines of elegance and depth.

RESERVE NOW: 416-964-0606