QUINTA DE LA ROSA
We had booked two nights accommodation at Quinta De La Rosa, a working Quinta alongside the Douro River. From the photo above you can see that the buildings and accommodation are literally perched on the steep side of the banks. In Portuguese, a Quinta is a wine producing estate, which can be a winery or a vineyard. While other wine classification systems may classify the winery (such as the 1855 Bordeaux classification), the Douro Quinta classification is based upon the physical characteristics of the vineyard.
Our little Renault Cleo was carefully parked for the night on the terrace.
On the second night of our stay, we were lucky enough have a special dinner put on in honour of the first anniversary of the opening of the dining room at the Quinta.
It was a six-course dinner with wine and port parings from the Quinta itself.
We have the glasses to prove we were at the dinner.
As mentioned in an earlier blog this Quinta is the only one that ages its wines on site. We took a one hour tour of the facility on our last day and we learned a good deal more about port wines and their production. The smaller barrels are used to make Ruby port which is a lighter wine with less oxidation. The smaller barrels restrict the contact between the aging wine and the wood of the barrel thereby allowing less contact with the oxygen coming through the wood during the fermenting process. The larger barrels are used to make Tawny port which is oxidized more and has a richer fuller body.
Naturally, there was time to sample the product at the end of the tour.
For hundreds of years, wealthy British families have been instrumental in developing the port wine industry in the Douro River Valley. One curious fact and custom among the British Elite was to gift a child a newly harvested barrel of wine on their christening. Photo shows a barrel that was set aside for Annie Kate Patricia in 2009.
Amazingly baby Claire Feueheerd was given the whole Quinta as a christening present in 1906. You can read more about the history of the Estate here.
NEXT – We take our own journey down the Douro River to Porto.