Quinta do Monte Xisto is a family project from one of the Douro’s most distinguished winemaking families. In 1952, Fernando Nicolau de Almeida created the Douro’s original icon, Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha. His son, João Nicolau de Almeida, created the Duas Quintas range of Douro wines for Ramos Pinto, the Port house. When he stumbled across a hilly outcrop of blue schist overlooking the river Douro in 1993, João was determined to buy the land and plant it to vines. It took years to acquire and ‘stitch together’ parcels from the smallholders who owned it. Planting began in 2005 with the help of his sons João junior and Mateus and his daughter, Mafalda. The first wine was launched to great acclaim in 2011.
Quinta do Monte Xisto is located in the Douro Superior sub-region, in Vila Nova de Foz Côa on the left bank of the Douro river. At 220-320m above sea level, it is a windy spot. The Quinta covers 40 hectares, with only 10 reserved for vines. It was always clear to the family that maintaining the biodiversity of the terroir was of fundamental importance, as much for the vines themselves as for the region. “We are part of a whole, and it is in that whole that we sought to integrate our project.” For these reasons, they choose to work in organic farming using principles of biodynamic agriculture.
Made from varieties specifically selected for structure and elegance (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta da Barca, Tinta Francisca, Sousão, Tinta Roriz, Rabigato, additionally a field blend parcel) the wines are exceptionally refined and aromatic. The use of large format oak (Austrian) allows the varieties and terroir to shine.