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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register. Miguel Braga was 10 years old when his father, Mario Braga, purchased Quinta do Mourão, as well as four other properties, in the Douro in Portugal.
It was 1972 and Miguel spent every summer working on the farm. As much as he loved being out on the farm, he went to study economics and, as guided by his father, went to work in economics. Miguel worked as a financial holder but every September he would return to the Douro on vacation to work harvest.
In 1999, Mario Braga passed away, and Miguel worked his first harvest without his father. Until then, they had been making what Miguel called “generalist” wine. They owned their own vineyards and made Port that they would then sell to one of the larger producers to blend into a final product.
But Miguel realized that they would be able to get a better price on selling bottles instead of selling the juice. In 2000, he decided to produce and bottle wine, and to honor his father and he named it Mário Braga Herdeiros, translated to “the Heirs of Mário Braga.” Miguel made his first dry wine in 2001 and came to market in 2003. By 2004, Miguel left his job as an economist and devoted himself full-time to the winery.