In this series we will interview the people that live, work and travel in the Douro Valley. This week, Adriano Ferreira Borges speaks to António Augusto Ribeiro, Douro farmer and ardent Benfiquista.
AFB: Good morning! What’s your name, and what do you do for a living? AAR: My name is António Augusto Ribeiro, and I’m a farmer.
AFB: Are you from around here?
AAR: I am indeed. I’m from Fiolhal (Carrazeda de Ansiães).
AFB: Great! So you like living in the Douro I take it?
AAR: Definitely! It’s the best place in the country!
AFB: What’s your favourite food?
AAR: Feijoada à transmontana (this is a typical bean stew from the Trás-os-Montes region of Portugal).
AFB: Have you ever worked in wine production?
AAR: Yes, many years ago, it must be 40 now, I worked for Smithes (referring to John Smithes, the pioneering Cockburn’s winemaker known as the “cowboy of the Douro”). Then we used to carry the grapes on our backs. It was hard work I’ll tell you!
AFB: And do you think the Douro has changed much since then?
AAR: Or course. In the past, this was a difficult place to live and work, but now, with machinery it’s much easier.
AFB: In ten years, where do you see the Douro?
AAR: How should I know! Why don’t you go and ask António Costa (the prime minister) and Marcelo (the president)!
AFB: Good answer. I’ll leave you to it so!