Thu 04 Dec 2014

Visiting Quinta do Vesuvio

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After visiting Taylor’s Port Lodge, we wound our way up the Douro Valley and arrived at Quinta do Vesuvio – at its very own railway station!

Quinta do Vesúvio - The Wine Society members' trip

Quinta do Vesuvio: A beautiful place

The property is set amidst orange and olive groves, orchards and, of course, vines, and we were welcomed to this beautiful setting by Johnny Symington and João Vasconcelos.

Johnny is one of the five Symington cousins who share the responsibility for all aspects of the company. The Symington family has owned Quinta do Vesuvio since 1989 and has been directly involved in port for five generations, since 1882 in fact, when the first Symington, Andrew James, moved from Scotland to Portugal to work for W & J Graham’s.

Johnny hosted our tour of this impressive quinta which boasts the largest house and some of the biggest traditional stone lagares (time-honoured fermentation vessels) in the Douro. It was exciting to find that they had only just finished foot-treading the grapes the night before our visit so the lagares were full of the grapes that would become the 2014 vintage.

Quinta do Vesúvio - The Wine Society members' trip

One of the traditional lagares full of fruit from the 2014 harvest

After our tour, we tasted Quinta do Vesuvio’s range of Douro DOC red wines, including Pombal do Vesuvio 2011 and Quinta do Vesuvio 2010 and 2009, and the intensely rich Quinta do Vesuvio single-quinta vintage ports from 2009, 2011 and 2012. The Wine Society currently lists Quinta do Vesuvio 2004 (£36 per bottle).

Society buyers Mark Buckenham and Jo Locke MW

Society buyers Mark Buckenham and Jo Locke MW

Quinta do Vesúvio - The Wine Society members' trip

A spot of lunch

Following a wonderful lunch of a delicious Portuguese speciality Bacalhau Fornado (a fish pie made with dry, salt-cured cod) and local cheeseboard accompanied by an exclusive 1992 Quinta do Vesuvio tawny port, taken direct from cask at the Quinta, we were in for another treat.

It was time for my ‘James Bond moment’: a speedboat trip with Johnny at the helm down the Douro river with wonderful 360-degree views of the surrounding terraced vineyards.

Quinta do Vesúvio - The Wine Society members' trip

My ‘James Bond moment’

Thank you to Johnny, João and the Symingtons for such a wonderful day in this idyllic part of the world; great company, setting and wines – life couldn’t get much better.

Quinta do Vesúvio - The Wine Society members' trip

To find out more about Quinta do Vesuvio and the Symington Family estates visit their excellent website.

Elizabeth Brown
Recruitment & Retention Manager

Categories : Port, Portugal

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