Quinta de Cidrô

Quinta de Cidrô is located at São João da Pesqueira which is one of the most highly regarded areas of Douro Valley. Throughout the last 20 years, Cidrô has been transformed into an experimental-model vineyard for the entire region. In virgin soils, cutting edge techniques were employed to plant 150 ha of the best varieties, creating one of the largest surfaces of single vineyard in the entire Douro Region.
In the most privileged location, international varieties perform equally well as the local grapes. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Noir, and the adaptable Cabernet Sauvignon are some of the foreign varieties that here express their best qualities when vinified by the extensive winemaking know-how present at the Company.

According to historical facts, the first vines planted at Quinta de Cidrô were in the late 19th Century, at around the same time the Quinta’s Palace was constructed by the hand of its owner, the Marquis of Soveral.

The Quinta was maintained in the Soveral family for many years under Luis de Soveral, Portuguese Embassador at St. James’ court and personal friend of King Edward the VII of England, until later being passed on to the Vicount of Asseca.

Real Companhia Velha purchased this magnificent Quinta in 1972, and since then has coinducted a vast reconversion program in the house and its vineyards, through modern tecniques of vertical plantation applied in great scale.

At the time of the acquisition, the property possesed around 60 hectares of vineyard, and since then Real Companhia Velha began an ambicious project to develop the Quinta in 3 strands: increase vineyard area through the purchase of neighbouring parcels; the plantation of new vines and the refurbishing of the Palace’s interior and exterior.

The Quinta’s innovative style of vertical plantation and the excelent quality of the wines produced consider it the “experimental model” for the Douro. It is one of the largest continuous vineyard surfaces in the region.

Characterization, Location and Ecology.

Quinta de Cidrô is one of the most singular properties in the Douro Valley due to the excellence and viticultural potential of its “terroir”, having been assigned with “Benefício” (Graded C) for the production of Port Wine, which is shown in the quality of white and red Douro wines that have been produced at the Estate over the last two centuries.

Due to its high altitude and mild climate, Quinta de Cidrô has shown the capacity to produce white wines of great quality, having become on of the Company’s experiemental fields for indigenous and international white varietals, as well as red grapes of elegant character.

Its magnificent landscape, extended through wavy slopes, is entirely populated by beautiful vineyards, planted vertically on a continuos surface of 145 ha. The harvest is done manually, by the same team, which carries out daily tasks, from where we can identify some of the oldest workers of the Company.

Its location in the heart of the Douro, on the border of the Cima Corgo with the Douro Superior, in one of Douro’s most beautiful areas, has views over the iconic hermitage of S. Salvador do Mundo, the river douro, the famous Valeira damn and majestic xist moutains.

Quinta de Cidrô is a property with very particular characteristics in comparisson to the Douro by revealing a very different approach to viticulture, other than the classic mountain viticulture.

The vineyard occupies the whole surface of the Quinta in a continuous form, extending through its gentle slopes (inferior to a 30% gradient), located at altitudes between 450m and 600m. This plateau allows full sun exposure, with more hours of Northeast exposure.

CLIMATE

Like most of the region, in terms of climate, the Quinta benefits from two very diverse seasons, neverthess presenting milder temperatures than those registered at Quinta das Carvalhas and Aciprestes. Due to its higher altitude, Quinta de Cidrô’s climate shows a moderate aridity index and stable daily temperatures (rarely above 32ºC). However, the defecit of water during summer months is still high.

Meteorological data:

• Annual average temperature =13,8ºC

• Average Temperature from April to September = 18,1ªC

• Annual Rainfall (last 30 years) = 700 mm

• Sum of all temperatures = superior to 10ºC from April to September: 1.523ºC

SOIL

Typical Douro shist soils, with earthy textures and gravel, yet poor in fine elements, low in fertility, with low levels of organic matter, high acidity (pH <6), deficient in structure and in most cases, they are modified for viticulture through the method of heavy duty ploughs (surriba). However, the work related to heavy duty ploughing is simpler when compared to Quinta dos Aciprestes, due to its plain landscape.

THE VINEYARD

Total Area of Vineyard: 132.9ha

At Quinta de Cidrô, the vineyard is planted vertically, following the areas of greater steepness. In 1993, we began replanting old vines, which were producing minor quality, to begin what would be called the “Fine Wine Division” at Real Companhia Velha. That year, we planted at Cidrô grape varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillion (Boal do Douro). Further plantation occurred after 1996, following new techniques and procedures defined by our Viticulture team, based on the project.

Vineyard area per grape varietal (excl. Old Vines Field Blend) (B = White | T = Red)

Touriga Nacional (T) 23,53 ha

Sauvignon Blanc (B) 18,71 ha

Chardonnay (B) 23,99 ha

Alvarinho (B) 12,54 ha

Alicante Bouschet (T) 6,45 ha

Cabernet Sauvignon (T) 6,43 ha

Sémillon ou Boal (B) 5,33 ha

Viosinho (B) 4,29 ha

Pinot Noir (T) 2,67 ha

Verdelho (B) 2,13 ha

Cercial (B) 2,03 ha

Riesling (B) 1,3 ha

Moscatel Roxo (B) 1,28 ha

Viognier (B) 1,27 ha

Fernão Pires (B) 1,14 ha

Gewürztraminer (B) 5,77 ha

Rabigato (B) 1,49 ha

Arinto (B) 2,0 ha

Nebbiolo (T) 1,0 ha

Códega do Larinho (B) 0,99 ha

Samarrinho (B) 0,99 ha

• Old Vines Field Blend 8 ha Old Vines Field Blend: 8 ha 

(This Field Blend is composed by a mixture of red grape varietals, mostly Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz – and white varietals such as Malvasia Fina, Moscatel Galego and Síria amongst others.)