Quinta do Vallado
Built in 1716, Quinta do Vallado is near the city of Regua. It is one of the oldest and most famous quintas of the Douro valley and it belonged to the legendary Dona Antonia Adelaide Ferreira, better known as Ferreirinha. The farm remained in the family Ferreira and, in addition to the production of wines it is also a rural hotel. Quinta do Vallado extends along both banks of the river Corgo, near where it merges with the Douro. The vineyard area is about 70 hectares, a third of which are old vines, many over 70 years old . Headed by Francisco Olazabeland Francisco Spratley, this is the 6th generation of the Ferreira family to continuously own the property. Vallado has had Cristiano van Zeller consulting during its decade or so of modernisation: the shift from grower for the big Port houses, to high grade estate producer. A new gravity-fed winery was completed in 1997, and the 68 ha of vines (around 300m altitude) have been radically renovated. Parts of the vineyard are still young, aged between 6 and 10 years old. But the best plots, about 26 hectares are more than 60 years old.The estate is actually one of the most modern-looking in Portugal. Although the team uses the traditional panoply of indigenous grapes, their methods are bang up to date and the results are nothing short of sensational. Unusually for the region, Quinta do Vallado's priority is making table wines rather than Port, although their 10 year old Tawny is a superb partner for everything from ripe Stilton to ginger cake. The success of this approach has been borne out by the spicy, rich Tinto Reserva walking off with a host of trophies at both the IWC and Decanter awards. Quinta do Vallado was honoured as Winery of the Year at the 2012 Essence of Wine Awards in Oporto , Portugal?s leading wine competition.