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Quinta do Vesúvio


Known by many as 'The Queen of the Douro', the property's magnificent house, chapel, and winery were built in 1827 – almost two centuries ago – and Vesúvio’s vineyards have been considered among the most important in the Douro throughout its long history.

Covering an area of 137 hectares, Vesúvio’s vineyards have predominantly northern and western exposures and altitudes ranging from 110 metres near the Douro River, up to 450 metres. Considered a cornerstone of Douro winemaking by the Villa Maior Viscount in 1876, Quinta do Vesúvio was central to the region’s development at that time.


Built by the will and the vision of António Bernardo Ferreira, the property was planted with vines the same year as its purchase – 1823.

In 1827, Vesúvio’s now-iconic winery was opened; to this day, all our Vintage Ports are still made in the original winery using traditional foot treading.

Later, while under the ownership of Dona Antónia Ferreira, both the chapel and the school – where many of the workers’ children were taught – were built. The main house was also expanded, and, in 1878, the Quinta do Vesúvio train station was opened, serving the estate ever since.

After the death of Dona Antónia Ferreira in 1896, the property was passed to her descendants – principally the Brito e Cunha family – until the late 1980s.

Since 1989, this centuries-old estate has been in the hands of the Symington family. Over the last three decades, they have been working on converting the property’s vast vineyards. In addition to preserving the tradition and history of Quinta do Vesúvio by producing Vintage Port exclusively in the time-honoured method of foot-treading, the family decided to also start producing Douro DOC wines in 2007.

António Bernardo Ferreira

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Historical records refer to the great diversity of the estate as early as 1565, describing plantations of oranges, lemons, almonds, olives, and fig trees. António Bernardo Ferreira purchased the property in 1823 – then known as Quinta das Figueiras – from Viscount da Lapa and, when Ferreira bought the property, it was mostly covered in wild bushes that extended up the mountainside along with the fig trees that had given the estate its former name.
For 13 years, 500 men and women worked to plant a vast expanse of vineyards, covering approximately 150 hectares. In 1827, the monumental winery was built with its eight granite ‘lagares’, each capable of holding 24 pipes of wine. This original winery is still in use today, producing all of Quinta do Vesúvio’s Vintage Ports using the historic tradition of foot treading.


Antónia Adelaide Ferreira

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After the death of António Bernardo Ferreira, his niece, Dona Antónia Ferreira, took on his mission to expand and improve the property. When phylloxera devastated the Douro region, D. Antónia began experimenting with new grape varieties and grafting techniques in her vineyards. 
During these years, the Portuguese wine economy suffered significantly and, to counter this situation, Antónia saw the need to diversify. In order to keep her workers employed, she commissioned a colossal stone wall to be built around the perimeter of the entire property – a circumference of 16km. 
In 1868, D. Antónia took the revolutionary step of bottling Vesúvio’s ports as an estate wine: the Quinta do Vesúvio 1868 Vintage Port. This was unprecedented in the 19th century and marked the beginning of the estate’s reputation for producing exceptional ports. After D. Antónia’s death in 1896, her descendants – the Brito and Cunha family – took over the running of the estate for many generations until it was acquired by the Symington family in 1989.

Symington Purchase

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The Symington family – who had been admirers of the estate for a long time – acquired Quinta do Vesúvio in 1989 and set about restoring it to its former glory. For decades, the family had seen Vesúvio from across the river at Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, and when the Brito and Cunha family decided to part ways with the property, the Symington family knew it was their one and only opportunity to contribute to Vesúvio’s long history.
During the early years, ambitious investments were made as 60,000 new vines were planted and work was done to revitalise older parcels. At the same time, Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Ports began to regain the status they had once held. 
Between 2001-2003, 90,000 vines were planted in the Quinta Nova vineyard with a view to producing Douro DOC wines in the future. In 2009, the Symington family launched the estate's still wine project with Quinta do Vesúvio DOC and Pombal do Vesúvio DOC – two wines of exceptional quality that were indicative of the estate’s enormous potential.

Symington Today

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Currently, the Symington family continues its mission to uphold the legendary status of Quinta do Vesúvio. Both the Vintage Ports and the still wines produced from the estate showcase the unquestionable quality of Vesúvio’s terroir and are among the top references for the Douro region.
Apart from Quinta do Vesúvio, the Symington Family Estates (SFE), the largest estate in the Douro region, encompasses several other notable brands and properties. More information here.


Quinta do Vesúvio

Seven Hills and 31 Valleys of Vineyards

Quinta do Vesúvio has a total area of 326 hectares, of which 133 hectares are under vine. The remaining land, which constitutes almost two thirds of the property, is preserved in its natural and wild state. The Vesúvio estate encompasses a wide variety of altitudes, ranging from 130 metres by the river up to 530 metres. The unique orography of Quinta do Vesúvio’s terrain allows for countless variations in altitude and sun exposure. This variation is integral in the estate’s ability to produce high quality grapes suited to the production of both Vintage Ports and Douro DOC wines.


A unique terroir expressed through its grape varieties

Due to its position in the Upper Douro, Quinta do Vesúvio experiences extreme weather conditions with very high temperatures in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter. The climate is extremely dry, with an average annual rainfall of around 400mm.


The soil at Vesúvio retains the typical characteristics of the region, being largely composed of schist with low amounts of organic matter. There are also some granite outcrops, and these are typical of this sub-region of the Upper Douro. The majority of our vineyards are planted with grape varieties that we think best represent the Douro region: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Sousão and Tinta Amarela.


Quinta do Vesúvio

Quinta do Vesúvio

Unique wines with timeless excellence

Since its inception in the 19th century, Quinta do Vesúvio has been recognised for producing outstanding wines with unique character and ageing capacity. This unwavering focus on quality is still the cornerstone of our approach to winemaking today.


Douro DOC Wines

We released our first two Douro DOC wines from the estate in 2009: Quinta do Vesúvio and Pombal do Vesúvio – a new chapter in Vesúvio’s long history. More recently, we began producing a third wine in homage to the estate’s dedicated train station: Comboio do Vesúvio. Using precision winemaking with a focus on producing wines of excellent quality and ageing potential, our wines are produced at the 'Adega do Ataíde' - the home of Symington Family Estates' premium Douro DOC wine production.


Quinta do Vesúvio
Quinta do Vesúvio

Vintage Ports

The property’s rich history and reputation for producing outstanding Vintage Ports continues today as we still produce Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port and, in truly exceptional years, Capela do Vesúvio. Exemplifying the uniqueness of the Douro Superior terroir, these two Vintage Ports preserve the traditions on which Quinta do Vesúvio’s name and reputation was built.

Each wine is vinified in the estate’s original granite ‘lagares’ (open granite tanks) and are made using the foot-treading method – a tradition dating back almost two centuries at Vesúvio.

The House

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Although mesmerizingly beautiful and grand, the Vesúvio house also betrays its original purpose: not to be an aristocratic home but an office for a Douro estate manager. There is no elaborate entrance. Instead, you enter the house through a small door into the kitchen.

There is a spectacular shaded terrace overlooking the river, which has become the heart of the house; in Dona Antónia’s time, however, life at the Quinta centred around her office. The Symington family has preserved the house almost entirely as Antónia left it, and it retains all its original charm.

The Estate Wall

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Unlike any other Douro Quinta, Vesúvio’s boundaries were marked by a dry-stone wall that encircled the whole property. This wall was built around the scrubland during the years when Phylloxera struck the Douro, almost destroying entirely the region’s economy. Instead of laying-off her employees, Dona Antónia instructed them to build this perimeter wall. This gave work to hundreds of Douro people and has left a remarkable monument to the trials that the region faced during these years. Substantial sections of this wall stand to this day.

The Chapel

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Dona Antónia was devoted to expanding the original chapel, which was small and simple, and created the ornate building that still stands today. In part, this was a favour to the local parish priest, whom she appointed as the administrator of Vesúvio. The Padre Vilarinho da Castanheira could, therefore, use the chapel to serve the local community. The key to the main door is incredibly ornate and very large - you need two hands just to hold it. 

The Schoolyard

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One of Vesúvio’s most beautiful and most peaceful vineyards is known as the School Vineyard. Its vines stretch up the relatively flat valley, which runs away from the river and the railway line up towards the ridge top. Tucked into the hillside is the old schoolhouse built to educate the children of the families who lived and worked on the estate. This vineyard has some of Vesúvio’s best Touriga Nacional vines, which with their elegant floral characteristics are an important component of all Quinta do Vesúvio’s ports and Douro wines.