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First vintage in 293 years for Port house

Port house Quinta do Vallado has declared its first ever vintage since the house’s founding in 1716.

Owners João Ferreira Alvares Ribeiro and his cousin Francisco Ferreira have named the 2009 vintage “Vallado Adelaide” after their ancestor Dona Antónia.

Around 40% of the blend comes from the quinta’s own sites planted with Touriga Nacional and the grapes were crushed by foot in traditional lagares.

The reason the house has never produced a vintage before is due to historical developments rather than a lack of quality in the grapes or vineyards.

Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira was a very entrepreneurial woman, widowed at 33, who took over management of the Ferreira business and set about creating a Port empire, with Quinta do Vallado her first acquisition.

Further quintas were added to her holdings over her life (1811-1893) and the grapes blended and bottled under the “Ferreira” name.

The cousins João and Francisco took over the business in the 1990s and it was only then that wines were produced from individual quintas, mostly DOC Douro red and white wine and tawny Port.

A tasting note describes the vintage as displaying: “Impressive dark fruit aromas and a highly complex body, supported by supple tannins and an uplifting finish.”

Dona Antónia is available from Bibendum.

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