Quinta do Síbio

Located in the Roncão Valley, a famous site for the quality of its wines, Quinta do Síbio presents itself as one of Real Companhia Velha’s oldest Estates. Today, it extends itself onto the plateau of Alijó with a total of 100ha of vineyards.

Some historians state that Quinta do Síbio was established and it’s vineyards planted during the same time peiod in which Real Companhia Velha’s founding (1756). The Quinta was owned by the Jordão family until 1934, when it was acquired by Real Companhia Velha.

Characterization, Location and Ecology.

Following a total restructuring of its vines, this charming Quinta is one of the most innovative projects in the region, where we practise organic viticulture and recover many of Douro’s oldest varieties, some which are in risk of extinction.

At the Quinta’s lower quota, located in the Roncão Valley, a famous site for the quality of its wines, the vines are planted in single line terraces, supported by traditional xist walls, following the curves of the mountain. This vineyard is unique and states the noticeable characteristic of the Estate. The vineyard reconversion program began in December in 1999 and included the recovery and preservation of the two hundred year old walls to their original form, contributing to the stating of the Douro as World Heritage by UNESCO. The vineyard extends over 7.16 ha on the slope with 40% inclination at altitudes between 120 and 300 metres above sea level. At this lower quota, the vineyard faces southern sun exposure (S & SW) – this condition contributes to a creation of a specific microclimate, ideal for the ripening of red grapes.

Today, the Quinta reveals a heritage of 7,16 ha of traditional Douro grapes, in which Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Amarela, Sousão and Tinta Francisca, planted on slopes, while 90,5 ha extend over the Alijó plateau.

At the Alijó plateau, we have initiated an innovative and experiemtal project where the focus lies on recovering, studying and vinifiying many of the Douro’s oldest varieties such as Samarrinho, Donzelinho Branco, Touriga Branca, Síria and Esgana Cão, amongst others.

CLIMATE

At the Roncão Valley, vines are submitted to a very high aridity index, due to elevated summer temperatures and the scarcity of water. On the Alijó plateau, the climate is not very characteristical of the Douro Valley, as it experiences higher rainfall, colder winters, cooler summers and does not partake of high maximum temperatures as Quintas located at a lower altitude, on the riverside.
Therefore, these vineyards, suffer less from aridity and the vines have lower water deficit during summer months. These facts support the reasons why this vineyard benefits from ideal conditions for the production of whites.

SOIL

At the Roncão Valley, the soils are typically characteristic for the Region, with very dry, xist soils, strong acid reaction and very low on organic matter. On the Alijó plateau, we indentified two very different types of soils. On one side, a typical Douro xist soil with earthy textures, 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). On a different hand, the soils are typical for the Alijó plateau, as they present a thiner texture, with higher fertility index and higher levels of organic matter. These soils are acid, richer in structure and deeper.

THE VINEYARD

Total area of vineyards: 97,66 ha

• Vale do Roncão – 7.16 ha

• Planalto de Alijó – 90,5 ha

In 1999, the vineyards in the Roncão Valley went through a total reconversion, together with the reconstruction of the estates traditional shist walls. The vines were planted in single-varietal parcels, with the original grape varietals stated on the Quinta’s old register at the Casa do Douro. On the Alijó plateau, 90,5 ha of vineyards are planted vertically, offering two different approaches to viticulture and winemaking: traditionally planted Field Blends of both white and red grapes; and an innovative program where we recover some of the oldest grape varietals (some close to extinction), planted in single-varietal parcels in order to preserve our heritage.

Vineyard area per grape varietal (B = White | T = Red)

• Viosinho (B) 11,15 ha

• Arinto (B) 8,62 ha

• Síria ou Códega (B) 6,97 ha

• Alvarinho (B) 6,91 ha

• Fernão Pires (B) 5,69 ha

• Samarrinho (B) 4,77 ha

• Encruzado (B) 4,06 ha

• Touriga Nacional (T) 2,94 ha

• Moscatel Ottonel (B) 2,12 ha

• Malvasia Rei (B) 1,93 ha

• Touriga Franca (T) 1,55 ha

• Bastardo (T) 1,17 ha

• Rabigato (B) 3,63 ha

• Sousão (T) 0,96 ha

• Touriga Branca (B) 0,77 ha

• Tinto Cão (T) 0,73 ha

• Tinta Amarela (T) 0,71 ha

• Donzelinho Branco (B) 0,5 ha

• Cerceal-Branco (B) 0,33 ha

• Tinta Francisca (T) 0,27 ha

• Old Vines Field Blend (White Grapes): 7,78 ha

(This Field Blend is composed by a mixture of white grape varietals, mostly Viosinho, Rabigato, Arinto e Gouveio)

• Old Vines Field Blend (Red Grapes): 24.1 ha

(This Field Blend is composed by a mixture of red grape varietals, mostly Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz.)