Imagine sipping on a glass of wine that transports you to the sun-soaked terraced vineyards of Portugal's Douro Valley, where centuries of tradition and a relentless pursuit of excellence converge. Quinta do Crasto's Douro wines and ports effortlessly embody elegance and sophistication, capturing the very essence of this picturesque region.
As we delve into the captivating story behind Quinta do Crasto's exceptional offerings, be prepared to embark on a journey that uncovers the meticulous art of hand-picking grapes, the unraveled ageing process, the charm of old vines, and the timeless creations that are Colheita, Vintage Port, and Reserva.
Join us as we explore the epitome of elegance in each sip, and discover why Quinta do Crasto has earned its place as a leading name in the industry.
The Centuries Old House
Quinta do Crasto was registered with the Sabrosa Finance Department in November 1918 by Constantino de Almeida, a wine salesman from Porto, and his wife, D. Laura Moreira de Almeida.
Constantino de Almeida carried out major improvements between 1919 and 1922. The grapes were replanted, and the homes and wineries were constructed or renovated. Today's enotourism tourists at Quinta do Crasto may enjoy the fruits of all that labour.
Today's guests are welcomed to this well-kept estate by the sight of a picturesque promontory that looks out over the Douro River. There are olive and vineyard-filled grounds around the Quinta do Crasto farm facilities, as well as the century-old manor that serves as the owners' home.
Modernity is evident in both the wine industry and tourism, yet this modernity blends in seamlessly with the proprietors' desire to protect this historical legacy, both in terms of the natural and man-made.
They understand perfectly well the significance of this rich inheritance, which is a resource as well as a memory bank that gives tourists a sense of eternity and oneness with the natural world.
Welcoming Visitors to the Estate
Quinta do Crasto has been welcoming visitors since 2012 in an effort to boost tourism alongside its wine production and cultivation operations.
The landowners' and carers' residences have been thoughtfully renovated to provide a first-rate welcome to guests and visitors while retaining the exclusive, familial feel that is so highly desired by people who travel to enjoy the singular Douro wine experience.
Quinta do Crasto welcomes visitors and wine enthusiasts with the highest quality and genuineness, adhering to the same strict standards in the production of its wines.
After touring the vineyards and wineries, guests can end their tour with a visit to this stunning 100-year-old manor house. Here, they can sample wines in the quaint dining room or enjoy a meal of regional fare served on the charming terrace made of local schist, which overlooks the Douro River.
The Quinta do Crasto was built in the seventeenth century and includes a manor house, lagares, and cellars.
The Charm of Old Vines
With a deep appreciation for the meticulous art of hand-picking grapes and the transformative power of time, it becomes evident why Quinta do Crasto's wines and ports encapsulate the epitome of elegance. The ageing process is the key to unlocking their true potential, enhancing their flavours and aromas to create an experience that is both transcendent and unforgettable.
But what is it about the grapes themselves that contribute to this remarkable transformation? The answer lies in the charm of old vines. Quinta do Crasto's vineyards boast an impressive collection of ancient vines, some of which are over a century old. These gnarled, weathered plants, with their twisted trunks and deep-rooted history, bring a unique character to the wines and ports they produce.
Old vines have a certain wisdom about them. Over the years, they have adapted and evolved, developing a resilience that younger vines simply cannot match. Through their deep root systems, they can access nutrients and water that lie far below the surface, drawing out the essence of the terroir in which they are planted. This results in grapes with exceptional concentration and depth of flavour, characteristics that form the foundation of Quinta do Crasto's extraordinary wines and ports.
Furthermore, old vines have the ability to produce lower yields, leading to grapes of exceptional quality. With fewer clusters per vine, each grape receives more attention from the vine itself, resulting in a level of intensity that younger vines cannot replicate. This intimate relationship between the vine and the grape is palpable in every sip of Quinta do Crasto's wines and ports.
Colheita, a traditional style of Port, represents a true taste of time. Crafted from the finest grapes of a single vintage, Colheita showcases the unique character and essence of that specific year. Aged meticulously in wooden barrels for a minimum of seven years, this style of Port develops a distinct complexity, marrying the rich flavours of dried fruits, toasted nuts, and delicate spices.
Colheita Port: A Taste of Time
As one indulges in a glass of Quinta do Crasto's Colheita, they are transported to the past. The years of ageing have bestowed a deep mahogany hue, while the aromas wafting from the glass reveal the hidden treasures of time. Notes of caramel, figs, and orange peel harmoniously intertwine, enveloping the senses in a symphony of flavours that unfold with every sip.
Colheita is a testament to the mastery of Quinta do Crasto's winemaking, capturing the essence of a specific vintage and transforming it into an extraordinary elixir. The meticulous attention to detail, from the hand-picking of the grapes to the patient ageing process, results in a Port that epitomises elegance and sophistication.
Quinta do Crasto Colheita Porto is an aged Tawny made from a single vintage, solely using fruit from Quinta do Crasto's oldest vineyards. From the harvest year until it is bottled, it matures in oak barrels.
This wine pays homage to Fernando Moreira d'Almeida, the renowned Port producer Constantino de Almeida's son, and showcases his expertise in crafting exceptional Port wines, as made by the fourth generation of the family.
Vintage Port: A Work of ArtVintage Port is not just a beverage; it is a work of art. Crafted from the finest grapes of a singular exceptional year, this Port captures the essence of a particular vintage and transforms it into a liquid masterpiece. It is an ode to the passage of time, a testament to the vineyard's commitment to preserving the legacy of each harvest.
Like a skilled painter delicately applying brushstrokes to a canvas, Quinta do Crasto carefully selects and hand-picks only the best grapes for its Vintage Port. The grapes are then gently crushed and fermented, allowing their unique characteristics to shine through. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that each bottle of Vintage Port is a true reflection of the specific year it was born.
But the artistry doesn't stop there. Once the fermentation process is complete, the wine is aged for an extended period in oak barrels, patiently developing its complex flavours and aromas. This careful maturation allows the Vintage Port to reach its full potential, unleashing a symphony of rich flavours and velvety textures.
When the time is right, the Vintage Port is bottled and unleashed upon the world, ready to be enjoyed by those who appreciate the finer things in life. With each sip, one is transported back to the year of its creation, experiencing the nuances and subtleties that make it a true masterpiece.
Their finest old vineyards provide the grapes from which they craft their Vintage Ports. Then, in ancient stone tanks known as "lagares," they are tramped on by foot.
The Vintage Ports are matured in enormous Portuguese oak vats for two years before being bottled unfiltered. When they are young, they typically have an almost impenetrable dark crimson colour and strong, ripe fruit scents. blending to create wines with a lot of complexity and longevity.
Reserva: Unleashing the Quintessence of Quinta do Crasto
Reserva wines from Quinta do Crasto are not just an extension of the winery's expertise; they are the true embodiment of the quintessence of Quinta do Crasto itself. Crafted with unwavering dedication and a commitment to excellence, each bottle of Reserva unveils a symphony of flavours that have been delicately nurtured to perfection.
Crasto Reserva Old Vines is a true combination of the best that the Douro has to offer, made from grapes harvested from old vines at Quinta do Crasto that are an average of 70 years old. Because of its great price/quality ratio and the large quantity of bottles that are readily available on the market, it has established a strong reputation both domestically and internationally.
Forty hectares of old grapes are spread among 42 vineyard lots at Quinta do Crasto, the most well-known being Vinha da Ponte and Vinha Maria Teresa. These antique grape plots yield an average of 3,000 litres per hectare and are planted with dozens of diverse kinds. Naturally, as the winemaking team crafts the entire spectrum of wines created from these old vines, including the varietals, the yield fluctuates from year to year. The annual production of Crasto Reserva Old Vines bottles varies greatly, but it often falls between 80,000 and 90,000 due to productivity constraints.
Crasto Reserva Old Vines is a complex and intense wine, owing to the limited yield of these old vines and the 18 months the wine spends ageing in French and American oak barrels in the temperature-controlled Barrel Cellar.
The scents of Crasto Reserva Old Vines are rich, displaying well-integrated flavours of fruit and wood with a touch of spice. Rich and complex on the palate, it has a lengthy, lingering aftertaste that is nicely counterbalanced by the tannins' robust structure. It goes perfectly with heavy meat and game dishes. It is unfiltered when it is bottled, so as the bottle ages, some sediment may accumulate.
In conclusion, Quinta do Crasto's Douro wines and ports are truly the epitome of elegance. The meticulous art of hand-picking grapes, the unraveled ageing process, and the charm of old vines all contribute to the exceptional quality and taste that Quinta do Crasto is renowned for.
From the timelessness of Colheita to the masterpiece of Vintage Port, each sip unveils the quintessence of Quinta do Crasto's dedication to excellence. Experience the essence of the Douro Valley through their exquisite offerings, and embark on a wine tasting journey that will elevate your senses to new heights.
Indulge in the sophistication and refinement of Quinta do Crasto's wines and ports and immerse yourself in the story of a family that has become a true icon in the industry.
As you uncork a bottle and savour the flavours, remember this: Quinta do Crasto's Douro wines and ports are not just beverages; they are an invitation to embrace the finer things in life. Cheers to elegance!