We were given the historical background of Ferreira and told that it was the first Portuguese family-owned Port Company, originally held by a group of winemakers. The Lodge we were in, had stood for well over 200 years in this place although it used to extend much closer to the waterfront, making it easier to roll the Port “pipes” (casks) off the Barco Rabelos (boats) and directly into the Lodge itself.
Up in the Douro, the 21st Feitoria (or Pombalino stone) was placed next to Ferreira’s property in 1758. Ferreira owns 250,000 hectares of which 30,000 are planted to grapes. The parent company of Ferreira (Casa Ferreirinha (Grupo Sogrape) controls many other Port as well as table wine related ventures like the famous Barca Velha. This was Portugal’s first premium non-fortified red wine, produced from the grapes of the Douro which was first bottled in 1952. Ligia provided an excellent historical insight into the eminence of Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, a figure so prominent in the Port industry, that no space I can dedicate here could possibly do her legend justice.
The visit to the cellars was followed by an incredible tasting of Vintage Ports. Here are some of the pictures taken that morning.
Luiz A. G. Alberto
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