Czar José Duarte

OUR STORY

Czar is the legacy of Professor José Duarte Garcia, who dreamed and realized the revival of Pico Island's historical wine. Now carried out by his son Fortunato Garcia.

 

An entirely independent family-owned company, where ​tradition, experience, and knowledge across 3 generations work to preserve the history of Pico’s late harvest, not fortified wine.

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1690 -  The vineyards of Criação Velha are planted.

 

1717 - Priest António Cordeiro writes “Pico’s wine is not only plenty but justly the best”.

 

1797 - Pico’s late harvest wine at the banquet offered to the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. (Wine list from that very same banquet on the left)

 

1820 - 23.250 liters of Pico’s late harvest wine are sent to Saint Petersburg alone, where the richest cort in the world resided, Czar’s cort.

1839 - The Bullar brothers describe “the Pico miracle that transformed vast extensions of rock into fertile fields of vineyard”.

 

1850 - Plagues decimate Pico’s vineyards, essentially placing wine production at a halt.

 

1880 - Pico’s traditional wine is slowly being forgotten, with the grapes of Verdelho and Terrantez, crucial for its production, substituted by more resistant grape types. Only Criação Velha vineyards kept these traditional grapes. 

 

1917 - Great Quantities of Pico’s late harvest wine are found at Nicolau II, the last Czar, palace cellars.

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1962 - José Duarte acquires the Criação Velha vineyards, with the dreams of bringing Pico’s wine to its former glory.

1967 - José Duarte hand draws the Czar logo and its first label. And to this day that same logo is used on everything Czar. 

1970 - The first official bottle of Czar is sold. Only a single bottle from the 1970 Czar is known to still exist.

1989 - José Duarte’s son, Fortunato, joins the management of Czar with the goal of showing it to the world.
 

1999 - Czar is awarded a gold medal at the first Azores wine competition.

2000 - 2010 - In the decade that most harvests reached the standard to produce Czar, it sold out, consistently, in months.

2011 - Pico’s late harvest wine, Czar, returns to Russia to win the gold medal at the Moscow International Wine Fair.

2013 - Público declares Czar as part of Azorean history and heritage.

2018 - Czar gains international acclaim and is featured in Decanter, Cond Nast Traveler, Reveneu du vin and Jancis Robinson.

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Czar is what is now left from the wine served for centuries at the tables of  Popes, Kings, Emperors and Czares.