Quinta do Vesúvio is situated far upriver in the Douro Superior, 74 miles from Portugal’s Atlantic coast and only 28 miles from the border with Spain. The Quinta’s special reputation for producing outstanding wines goes back into the nineteenth century, when the Viscount of Villa Maior wrote, “All this wine is made scrupulously and to perfection… this Quinta was made as if for princes…”
Vesúvio has a total area of 326 hectares (806 acres), of which 133 hectares (329 acres) are planted with vines. The rest, almost two-thirds, has been conserved in its natural, wild state. Many other things grow at Vesúvio besides vines: oranges, lemons, figs, almonds, walnuts, grapefruits, pomegranates and many more exotic fruits and herbs.
Vesúvio also has great variations in altitude, from 426 feet at the riverside to 1,739 feet at the top of the ridge. Being so far in land, the Quinta experiences climatic extremes, reaching very high temperatures in summer and very low in winter. It is extremely dry, with an average of only 400mm of rain falling each year.
Vesúvio specialises in making remarkable Vintage Ports and Douro D.O.C red wines. The Symington family, the leading family of winemakers in the Douro Valley, personally makes all Vesúvio’s wine. The nineteenth century winery is one of the largest in the Douro and one of the last places on earth where grapes are still trodden by human feet, according to a time-honoured art, practised for centuries, millennia even.