João Tavares de Pina is an impulsive character who now leads his family winery in Penalda do Castelo, in the renowned Dão region. His family has a long tradition of winemaking since the late 19th century, which inspired him to follow their footsteps. He studied in Bordeaux and in Vila Real, and continued his studies afterwards on a research project. Here, he discovered one of the most popular selected yeasts around the globe called QA23. Since its discovery, it has and continues to be sold to millions of winemakers.
It was a few years later that he moved to his family house in Penalda do Castelo and he started to make wine in a more traditional sense of the word. But during this time he continued to experiment and taste and at some point the ideas behind the natural wine movement began to resonate with him. In his words, 'he came from the dark side to the green'. On top of that, he became an enthusiastic promoter of the indigenous grape varieties of his region. Afterwards, he started an experiment and a side label, called "Rufia", which means ruffian or punk. Currently, with its provocative labels, Rufia has become the best-seller of João Tavares de Pina and made him famous in the natural wine scene. He continued to make wines with the same philosophy and created orange wines as well, which became a great success. João is a firm believer in his region, which may be proven with the tastings he organized since 1999 with his friend João Roseria from Douro, which paved the way to the famous wine fair called Simplesmente Vinho.