Quinta do Vesuvio

Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Ports are very concentrated, powerful wines, showing ripe fruit flavours such as blueberry and blackcurrent.

History

This iconic Douro property is recorded as far back as 1565.  In the early 19th century the quinta was acquired by António Bernard Ferreira, a well known Port grower and businessman, who began a programme of building and landscaping on an unprecedented scale.  Old stone walled terraces were repaired and new ones created, bringing approximately 100 hectares under vine of the 325 (803 acre) hectare property.  An adega was built to match the scale of the vineyards:  whereas typical lagares (the stone tanks in which grapes are treaded by foot) hold about 12 pipes of port, the eight lagares at Vesuvio each hold 25 pipes of wine (14,000 litres) and require 50 people to tread the grapes. 

Ultimately the property passed into the hands of António’s redoubtable daughter in law, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira.  She oversaw the building of the grand estate house and chapel, and thereafter frequently used Quinta do Vesuvio as her principal residence.  It was Dona Antónia who bottled and sold the Vesuvio wines under their own name – which was an extraordinary practice in the 19th century – and brought the quinta and its wines into renown.  She faced the devastation of phylloxera in the 1870’s, shifting to production of olives, almonds and oranges when the grape crops failed, and kept her labour force further employed with the construction of a 16 km stone wall to encircle the property.  As phylloxera came under control, vineyards were replanted with grafted vines, and wine production resumed.  Dona Antónia’s descendants continued production at Vesuvio, but blended or sold the wines to other shippers; although the Quinta remained a legend, the wines became less well known. 

In 1989 the Symington family acquired the property with the intention to restore the quinta and its wines to their former glory.  The house and adega were restored and a massive planting program undertaken which extended the area under vine to 136 hectares, as well as revitalising and re-planting selected existing vineyards.  The decision was made to retain the tradition of treading by foot, and to make only Vintage Port – no other Port styles are made under the Quinta do Vesuvio name.  If necessary, no Vintage Port will be made when the stringent quality criteria have not been met, as in 1993 and 2002 when weather conditions were a challenge.

Visit the Quinta do Vesuvio website to learn more about the history of this magnificent property and brand.

The Quinta

Quinta do Vesuvio is located in the Douro Superior, on the south bank of the river.  Laid out over seven hills and seven valleys, the quinta rises from 130 metres at the river front to 530 metres.  The extraordinary variety of terrain and microclimate in the Quinta allows us to produce a superb Vintage Port most years.

For more viticultural details of the property, consult the Quinta Profile for Vesuvio.

Flavour Profile

Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Ports are very concentrated, powerful wines, showing ripe fruit flavours such as blueberry and blackcurrent.

The Wines

In 1876 the Viscount of Villa Maior produced an authoritative survey of the Douro winemaking properties, and wrote of Vesuvio “All this wine is made scrupulously and to perfection…”  The same is true again today.  In a survey of the vintages from 1989 to 2005, Michael Schuster, writing in The World of Fine Wine magazine, concludes “Year in, year out, the quality remains remarkably consistent, but as with any fine Bordeaux château or Burgundy cru, the character of the year is reflected in the wine.”

Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio

Whereas most brands declare Vintages perhaps three times in a decade and produce Quinta Vintage Ports when appropriate in the intervening years, Quinta do Vesuvio is such an extraordinary property that we can produce Vintage Ports most years.  Occasionally we find we can make something even more exceptional, the crème de la crème, and then we make a Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage.

This Vintage Port is a premium blend of outstanding wines, some of which have been micro-vinified by partitioning the immense lagares at Vesuvio to a fraction of their normal capacity.  Other specialised winemaking techniques may be employed to enhance and concentrate the wines, for example bleeding the lagar nearly 30% to produce an even more tremendously concentrated wine, using a cold fermentation to enhance aromatics, or fermenting a component wine to a lower baumé for a drier style.  This is a hand-crafted Vintage Port like no other.

This extraordinary Vintage Port is named for the lovely chapel (capela in Portuguese) at Quinta do Vesuvio.

See details of all the years in which Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio was made

  1. 2011
  2. 2007

See details of all the years in which Quinta do Vesuvio was made

  1. 2015
  2. 2013
  3. 2012
  4. 2011
  5. 2010
  6. 2009
  7. 2008
  8. 2007
  9. 2006
  10. 2005
  11. 2004
  12. 2003
  13. 2001
  14. 2000
  15. 1999
  16. 1998
  17. 1997
  18. 1996
  19. 1995
  20. 1994
  21. 1992
  22. 1991
  23. 1990
  24. 1989


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