On the right bank of the Douro River, between Régua and Pinhão, lies Quinta do Crasto, a 135-hectare estate, 74 of which are planted in vines. The property benefits from the prime conditions of this privileged location in the Cima Corgo region and produces premium and super premium Douro and Porto wines from grapes coming from some of the oldest and most historic vines in the Douro.
The Douro Demarcated Region is divided into three sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. Each has its own peculiar combination of topography, geology, climate, water resources, and so forth, all of which come together to form the unparalleled theatre of global winemaking that is Douro Valley.
The Cima Corgo sub-region is drier than the Baixo Corgo. Consequently, the yield/hectare is lower here, yet this is the area best suited to produce intense, complex and concentrated wines. The Quinta do Crasto soils are of schist complex types and have been worked into steep slopes near the river in a remarkably awe-inspiring work of human ingenuity. The traditional socalcos (terraces with stone retaining walls) house the oldest vines, some a hundred years old. An average of 5,000 plants/hectare of younger vines are planted vertically on slopes of less than 35%. On the slopes (greater than 40%) patamares (more recent terraces) carry either one or two rows of vine, with a density of between 3,000 to 3,500 plants/hectare.
The excellent sun exposure with primarily eastern and southern aspects, in conjunction with the dry conditions of the Cima Corgo sub-region and the ability of schist soils to absorb and retain heat, come together to force the roots of these vines to grow dozens of metres deep in search of water. This also provides competition between the plants and contributes to the complexity and intensity of the wines produced.
Quinta do Crasto has numerous plots of old vines in this select terroir. Vinha Maria Teresa, Vinha dos Cardanhos de Cima and Vinha da Ponte are just the most well-known amongst dozens of smaller plots that sum 40 hectares of old vines. The grapes produced here yield, year after year, Quinta do Crasto wines that are matchless in their character and uniqueness.
The quality of these wines and this terroir also requires all the passion of the Quinta do Crasto winemaking team. Their own hands care for the vines from pruning to harvest, so as to closely monitor every step in the grape growing and winemaking process. Important recent investments at Quinta do Crasto have allowed the company to modernise not only their vineyards but also their winemaking facilities. The result has been to ensure the consistent production of the highest quality wines year after year. These wines manifest the matchless heritage that is the terroir of the Douro. Quinta do Crasto is proud to serve up this legacy to anyone who is lucky enough to taste their wines and to enjoy them.