Quinta dos Aciprestes

Bordering the Douro River with it’s gentle slopes, Quinta dos Aciprestes offers a totally replated vineyard with some of Douro’s most noble varieties.
The vineyard’s location, between the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior, benefits from a specific micro-climate, which is ideal for the ripening of red grapes.

Since 1860, Quinta dos Aciprestes, has been a successful conglomerate of three neighbouring Quintas. The original Quinta, named Cyprestes, was founded during the 18th Century by D. José de Seabra, one of D. Maria I, Queen of Portugal’s miniters, and later passed onto his predecessors the Vicounts of Baía.

Today, Quinta dos Aciprestes extends for over 2 km on the left bank of the River Douro, facing the tributary River Tua. The Quinta is easily identified by the Cypress trees, located by the house, and for its characteristic landscape of vertical vine plantation, highlighted by the absence of the traditional terraces, result of the recent reconversion that took place in the vineyard. The Quinta has seen a complete re-plantation of its vineyards, with the noblest varieties of the region. The optimal microclimate at this 100-hectar vineyard, located within Cima Corgo close to the Douro Superior sub-region, offers ideal conditions for perfect ripening of red grapes.

As a result of that transformation, 90% of existing vines were recently planted applying the vertical planting system. Real Companhia Velha is a pioneer in the introduction of this system in the Douro, allowing an increase of mechanical work in the vineyard.

Characterization, Location and Ecology.

Quinta dos Aciprestes is one of the Douro’s most recognized Estates for the excelence of its terroir, having been attributed with grade A for the Assignment of Benefit for Port Wine. The quality and singularity of there Red wines produced here for more than two centuries, is immedietly associated with the traditional style of Douro reds.

The Estate is portrayed for it magnificent landscape, bordering the river Douro in an extention of 2,2 km, and presents its vineyards beautifully surfacing the slopes, in the heart of the Demarcated Region of the Douro Valley, in an area of excellence. The Quinta is located in the area of Soutelo do Douro, facing the mouth of the river Tua (tributary to the Douro), and in a place of transition between the two sub-regions Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.

Quinta dos Aciprestes is a typically characteristic property for the Region and a clear example of mountain viticulture. The vineyard is planted in reasonably steep slopes in which gradient levels are between 30 to 50%.

The total area of the Quinta is located between 100 metres and 350 metres of altitude (sea level), slighty above the River Douro. Its sun exposure is mainly northern, between northeast and north-west directions. This sun exposition is particularl interesting as it forms a specific microclimate, which is a key factor of the Aciprestes “terroir”.

CLIMATE

Like most of the Region, the Quinta benefits from a Mediterranian climate, ie humid between October and April and dry between May and September.

Meteorological data:

• Annual average temperature = 18,2ºC

• Average Temperature from April to September = 23,8ªC

• Annual Rainfall (last 30 years) = 623 mm

• Sum of all temperatures superior to 10ºC from April to September = 2.426ºC

Quinta dos Aciprestes’ climate is sensitive to a high aridity index due to high temperatures during the summer period: rapid thermal concentration of a megathermal type and high water deficit.

SOIL

Typical Douro soils, with earthy textures and some limo, 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).

• Thickness: 20 to 40 cm

• Stone: Rocha Mãe & Complex Grauváquico Xist

• Origin: Precambrian period

• Designation: Leptosols (originally); Antrosols (created by man)

Although these shortages, the soil is ideal for the culture of the vine, as it cohabits well in these consitions, producing high quality grapes with great oenology potential.

THE VINEYARD

In 1979, Manuel da Silva Reis, began re-planting the old vines of Quinta dos Aciprestes, with the purpose to focus not only on the production of top quality Ports, but of DOC Douro’s as well. Six grape varieties were selected based on quality, adaptability and consistency and planted in a field blend: Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela & Tinto Cão.

Since 1998, by the hand of his son Pedro, the remaining old vines were replanted in into individual parcels of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Sousão, Syrah and recently Tinta Francisca.

Total area of vineyards: 114,7 hectares

• Old Vines in Field Blend (age superior to 50 years) – 70 ha

(The grapes Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz are predominant in this blend and represent 90% of all plants within these parcels)

• New Vines (ages inferior to 30 years) – 44,7 ha

(Planted as single varietal parcels)

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

• Touriga Nacional (T) 19,72 ha

• Touriga Franca (T) 6,30 ha

• Sousão (T) 4,28 ha

• Tinta Francisca (T) 1,05 ha

• Tinta Amarela (T) 0,67 ha

• Tinta Roriz (T) 0,55 ha

• Rabigato (B) 2,53 ha

• Syrah (T) 1.7 ha