by Emmanuel Cadieu
You can read Part 1 if you missed it!
Quinta de Vallado
Quinta de Vallado was built in 1716. It used to belong to the legendary Dona Antonia Ferreira (also called Ferreirinha), considered to be one of the most visionary leaders in Port history.
Today the sixth generation, cousins Francisco Ferreira and Joao Ferreira Alves Ribeiro, run the Quinta. They are passionate winemakers who want to actively promote and encourage the conversion to organic viticulture.
Quinta de Crasto
Quinta do Crasto is probably one of the most picturesque places in the Douro Valley. Located on the right bank of the Douro River between Régua and Pinhão, this is a place you never want to leave…
One of their top cuvées and single vineyards (only 11.6 acre), Vinha Maria Theresa, has been classified as one of the oldest vineyards in the world that continuously makes great wine. With very low yields, the wines are concentrated, produced from 100-year-old vines.
Quinta do Vale Meao
Quinta do Vale Meao is situated in Douro Superior. The famous Done Antonia Ferreira purchased the estate in 1877. Originally unplanted and located far away from the heart of Douro Valley, she was a pioneer and saw the great potential of the area. Indeed, the grapes used originally for the most iconic still red wine from Portugal, Barca Velha, were from vineyards located within Quinta do Vale Meao. Today, the estate is run by the Olazabal family and continues to produce amazing still red wines, showcasing the enormous potential of the terroir. They are amongst my personal favourite still red wines from Portugal. Watch out for their 2016 Baga, not yet released in UK, which is an amazing and elegant expression of this varietal, far from what we usually know in Bairrada DOC.
Quinta Vale D. Maria
Quinta Vale D. Maria is ran by Christian Van Zeller, who used to be the owner of Quinta do Noval until 1993. The quinta is the smallest estate of the Douro Boys association, however Christian is one of the most important ambassadors of the Douro Valley. Located in Rio Torto and surrounded by very steep hills complanted with indigenous grape varieties, this ancient Quinta was totally restored by Christian and his wife. Today it is the home to some of the most interesting projects in the region, with Christian also producing wines under his own label, Van Zellers.
Taylor’s has been making wine since 1692. They were the first Port producers to release a Single Quinta with Quinta de Vargellas in 1958 and are today recognised as one of the most famous Port shippers. The historical lodges, located in Vila Nova de Gaia, are still very impressive, and home to some of the biggest oak vats in the Douro.
Quinta do Noval
Quinta do Noval has always been legendary to me. I have great memories of a bottle of 1996 opened in London, one of the greatest wines that I’ve ever tasted. The 1996 was not declared for the rest of the Quinta do Noval vineyard, however the Vintage Nacional was outstanding.
The fame of the Nacional is quite mysterious. The small vineyard is totally Phylloxera free, and ungrafted vines of only Portuguese varietals (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão and Sousão). They produce outstanding grapes with very low yields.
The vines are naturally resistant to Phylloxera, however there is no explanation for it. Several experiments have been conducted in order to find the key to this mystery, including taking vines from this tiny vineyard and planting them in neighbouring vineyards. The mystery continues…
Kopke is the oldest Port house, and was founded in 1638 by Nikolau Kopke, a German diplomat. They are widely known for aged Tawnies and Colheitas, including white Port. The oldest Colheitas are still kept in their cellars, and they still bottle them by hand, one by one. They also hand paint their bottles, as they have done in the past. The range of back vintages is rather impressive, and a vertical of vintage Colheitas will soon be listed at 67 Pall Mall.
Discover the latest addition from the Douro Valley in our wine list and ask one of our Sommeliers for recommendations.