Founded by the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, Quinta do Vesuvio is one of the great Douro estates. It has a total area of 326 hectares, of which 133 hectares are planted with vines. The rest has been conserved in its natural state. The property has great variations in altitude, from 130m at the riverside to 530m at the top of the ridge. It has vineyards that face north, south, east and west, providing a remarkable range of conditions. Being so far inland, only 30k from Spain, the Quinta experiences climatic extremes, reaching very high temperatures in summer and very low in winter. It is very dry, with an average of only 400mm of rain falling each year.
Quinta do Vesuvio experiencied a generally dry viticultural year in 2011, althought the previous autumn and winter rainfall had been above average; 312mm were recorded between November 2010 and February 2011, or 70% of the total rain during the entire viticultural year at Vesuvio. This replenished the water reserves in the subsoil and thus helped to offset the almost complete lack of rain during the early to mid-summer. As is the case in so many classic Vintage years, abundant winter rains are key to the develop of the vines during the spring and summer leading up to the harvest.
Dow’s Vintage Ports are only produced in years of exceptional quality and represent only a very small part of the total company’s production in that year. On average only two or three times every ten years are the weather conditions sufficiently good to allow for the making of Dow’s Vintage Port.
Dow's Vintage Ports are drawn from the companies' finest vineyards; Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira. Each property contributes to the Dow’s unique and distinctive style. When young, Dow’s Vintage Ports are purple-black, austere, complex and intensely concentrated, full-bodied and balanced with very fine peppery tannins.
Over the centuries, the Dow winemakers have evolved a style that suits the house’s key vineyards; fermentations are a little longer, resulting in a drier Port Wine that has become the hallmark of Dow’s. Abundant fruit flavours with hints of ripe blackberries, give elegance and poise to Dow’s. The nose is deep and powerful with strong overtones of violets when young, these mature into fine cinnamon and rose-tea aromas with age. The very high percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional planted on the vineyards result in the powerful structure and aging potential of Dow’s Vintage Ports.