Vino at the Chateau: An essential port of call on any wine tour

Carsten Pedersen
July 12th, 2015

This article is more than 8 years old.

Our monthly wine column is off to Portugal

In the hilly region of the Douro Valley, magic happens on the vines

There is far more to Portuguese wine than the fortified varieties

The fellows at Quinta Vale D Maria are out to prove to the world there is far more to Portuguese wine than simply a glass of port.

Straight out of a picturesque region of northern Portugal, Quinta Vale D Maria is an ancient estate in the heart of the Douro Valley that produces some of Portugal’s finest wines.

A river runs through it
The region takes its name from the Douro, a river that flows east to west from the Spanish border to Oporto, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Long famous as the source of port wine, the Douro is now also renowned for its fine, rich unfortified wines, both red and white.

In the safe hands of Sandra Tavares da Silva and Christiano van Zeller, the family-run winery was established in 1996 and has quickly earned itself a reputation as one of the best producers of red wine in Portugal.

A stunning resume
Perhaps their most popular bottle, the Curriculum Vitae (both the 2010 and 2011 edition) has won itself the reigning title of the two best wines in Portugal for a number of years now.

Here, the grapes are hand-harvested in 80-year-old ‘bush vines’ in a field blend of local grape varieties. The grapes are then transported to the winery, where they are naturally vinified without pumps, before being stored in steel and French oak barrels of the highest quality.


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