Quinta Nova and Taboadella

Cork and Wine: two perfect worlds

The Amorim Group's centuries-old passion for cork has inevitably spawned a comparable love of wine. This is both due to the enthusiasm that the Amorim Family has always placed in all its projects, as well as the ancestral connection between these two unique natural products.

Uniting these two perfect worlds was an inevitable step in the Amorim Group's history. In 1999 the family decided to enter the port wine business and the Douro winemaking region, through acquisition of Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, one of the Douro’s most charismatic wine properties. The second acquisition was the Quinta de São Cibrão in 2001, in the Douro Superior. In 2018, after 19 years of experience, the group decided to invest in another classic winemaking region, the Dão, by acquiring the Quinta da Taboadella,

Luisa Amorim is in charge of managing the wine business, while always maintaining profound respect for the historical heritage and the reputation of these two great estates that have excellent terroirs, in classic Portuguese wine regions, where only indigenous grape varieties are grown. The estates have a total of 125 ha of vineyards, where the alliance between traditional processes and sophisticated technology has made it possible to create Great Wines, in exclusive wine tourism destinations surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

Quinta Nova e Taboadella:
Excellent wines, superior wine tourism and breathtaking landscapes, in two exclusive estates.

Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo
Wines from our terroir that respect the present, to preserve the future

With a sublime setting in the UNESCO world heritage landscape, Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo was the first estate to adopt a monovarietal plantation in the Douro region, in the 1970s. With a history spanning over 200 years, the estate occupies over 120 ha of land, occupying a 1.5 km stretch of land along the right bank of the river Douro.

It has been identified in historical records since the first Pombaline demarcation of the Douro wine region in 1756. Owned by the Portuguese Royal Family until 1725, it became a “new estate” when two estates were merged. Several Portuguese families lived in the estate in the 18th and 19th centuries, spanning different periods in the agricultural and winegrowing traditions of the Douro region. In 1764 the traditional wine cellar was built on one of the estate's hills. In the following year, the support houses and the chapel of the main house were built. Wines are still produced in the estate according to traditional methods. In 2005, Quinta Nova was the first vineyard in Portugal to open a small wine hotel with 11 rooms, that is today a Winery House Relais et Chateaux, and welcomes guests from all over the world.

This special touch of generosity, compassion and nobility in relation to the Douro’s timeless heritage is exemplified by one of the Douro region’s best kept secrets – the food and wine of the Terraçu´s restaurant – coordinated by the young chef André Carvalho, who is rewriting the culinary landscape of the Douro valley. Must-see experiences for visitors to the Douro Valley include the wine tour, vineyard tour, a unique wine tasting experience and a visit to the Wine Museum Centre Fernanda Ramos Amorim, which houses a unique collection representative of the production cycle of Port Wine.

Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo encompasses a single stretch of 85 hectares of vines. The average age of the vines is 45 years and currently includes around 3500 plants per hectare. Using approximately 80 indigenous species, extracted from the original plantation of centuries-old vines that already existed on the estate, new cuttings and new vine plots have been created, which are currently distributed in 41 different plots, in function of their microterroir. The wine-growing team is coordinated by Ana Mota. The genetic heritage planted in these gravel-schist soils expresses the unique character of this vineyard, planted on very steep slopes, with up to a 45% slope.

There are two plots of centuries-old terraced vineyards at Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo: - 2.5 hectares and 4.5 hectares - both located at an altitude of 150 m and with solar exposure to the south west, preserved in 2.5 metre high schist walls. With more than 100 years, this genetic heritage with about 80 red and white grape varieties ensures replanting in a field blend of 6000 plants per hectare.

All of these plants come from vines which were planted after the phylloxera blight, and which resist until today with the aim of creating high quality wines. In this complex system, plants compete with each other and increase their level of concentration. Despite a very low production, we care for these plots using traditional techniques and still till the land using horse-drawn ploughs. We only apply natural fertiliser using the grape husks, in order to preserve the history and tradition of the Douro, a culture that continues to be felt in the creation of the world's finest wines.

The terroir is indelibly reflected in the wines from Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo - Colheita, Terroir Blend and Grande Reserva, as well as Port Wines. Pomares and Graínha wines are more gastronomic wines, and Mirabilis and Aeternus are rare, sublime and extraordinary wines. The unique identity and personality of each vintage are preserved both by natural selection over the years and by the generosity of nature, as well as by tradition, technological adaptation and human wisdom, combined with the expertise of the experienced winemaking team, formed by Jorge Alves and Sónia Pereira, who guarantee profound respect for the Douro valley’s historical heritage and for the reputation of a great estate, which maintains the profile of its wines year after year.

With an indomitable desire to uphold the traditions of the Douro, we continue to maintain countless historical features, while always honouring the centuries-old legacy of the indigenous grape varieties. One third of the land is conserved in a virgin state, including small niches of Mediterranean brushland which offer a beneficial refuge for ancillary fauna near the vines. The schist walls are also preserved on the terraced vineyards to reduce soil erosion, maintaining the planting density of this ancient vineyard: 3,500 plants per hectare. Partnerships are also being established with the local farmers, based on an indomitable desire to safeguard the traditions of the Douro. There are many carefully preserved historic spots in the estate, such as the three fruit orchards, the Pombaline milestone erected in 1758, the watermill once used to produce olive oil, the whitewashed cellar built in 1764 and the small 17th century chapel of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, built on the bank of the Douro River, named after Our Lady of Carmo who was worshipped by the local sailors of the rabelo boats.

The Roman soul of a unique vineyard in the Dão region

Taboadella is the Amorim family’s most recent wine project. Taboadella was first settled in the first century, in a unique location next to the Ribeira das Fontainhas stream. Research into historical records dating back to 1255 enables us to conclude that an estate was built in the medieval period on the site of a former Roman Villae, which was owned by the upper rural class, and functioned as one of the support pillars of the Roman Empire, whose occupation strategy included planting vineyards in the lands conquered in the interior as a form of territorial and cultural demarcation.

Located in Silvã de Cima, in the heart of the Dão Demarcated Region, the estate consists of a single stretch of 40 hectares of vineyard, between the Vale do Pereiro and Vale do Sequeiro, characterised by a triangular plateau, at an altitude between 400 and 530 metres above sea level. The mountainous massif protects the vineyard from the Atlantic weather and the harsh winds of Spain, resulting in a microclimate where maritime and continental influences meet.

Like other terroirs in the world’s biggest wine regions, Taboadella benefits from an enormous interaction between the granite subsoil and its topography, with coarse elements associated with the slope of the hillsides that enable fast and deep drainage, and effective “drainage” of the rainfall (15-20 mm) in the months of July, August and September, prior to the harvest, ensuring that it does not have a major influence on the quality of production.

With exceptional edaphoclimatic conditions, in Taboadella there are almost always two seasons of frost: after the autumnal equinox, with a sharp drop in temperature after the harvest; and another, usually before spring, with early rains and frosts. Pruning is therefore usually only carried out after the frost, typically in March, slightly delaying the vegetative cycle of the vines. Between the end of September and the first half of October, the grapes are all picked by hand, and the harvest is always “à la carte”, according to the maturity of each grape variety in each plot.

The soul of Taboadella is rooted in its old grape varieties - Jaen, Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Tinta Pinheira - which have always generated new vines, and thereby contributed to the original vine population derived from very resistant vines. Partially replanted in 1980, the vineyard was further enriched through the introduction of the Tinta Roriz, Encruzado, Cerceal-Branco and Bical grape varieties. Today, the vines have an average age of 30 years, but some are over 100 years old. Benefiting from an almost perfect interaction between the topography, solar exposure and altitude, the traditional Taboadella vineyard requires virtually no irrigation, since it is based on a very sustainable dry farming system. This makes it possible to perpetuate the primitive quality of the 25 plots, in an integrated production mode.

As a result, the estate produces wines that have a classic profile, great complexity and profound longevity. These characteristics are accentuated by slow maturation of the grapes which endows adaptability, identity, affinity, elegance, character, fluidity, as well as freshness, balance, texture, aroma and colour. The blended wines are exclusively based on indigenous grape varieties, born from a symbiosis with a strong connection to Nature. They are based on the ancestry, individuality and typicality that will ensure that the wines project the future of the Dão - the oldest demarcated region of non-fortified wines in Portugal.

The winemaking process also respects sustainability principles, while at the same time incorporating the latest technology, innovations and scientific knowledge. In this context, the Amorim family has built a state-of-the-art winery in Taboadella, designed by the architect Carlos Castanheira, which is perfectly framed against the surrounding forests, next to the Ribeira das Fontaínhas stream. The functional building uses natural materials such as cork and wood. These two ecological raw materials ensure energy savings, wastewater management, sorting of solid waste, sound insulation and thermal comfort. The two naves, with a current winemaking capacity of 290,000 litres per harvest, have been designed to maintain a perfect harmony between light and shade. The atmosphere of well-being, peace, quiet, security and tranquillity is easily perceived when crossing the Barrel Top Walkway - a wooden walkway built high above the barrel room, whose maximum capacity is 500 barrels.

Taboadella is one of the most impressive estates in the Dão region. Its unique landscape is the perfect setting for a wine tourism visit that will transport visitors through the history of this estate that has been linked to wine since the Roman era. A winepress built on a monolithic rock, one of the oldest vestiges of winemaking in the Dão region, contrasts with the winery, of contemporary architecture, from whose balcony visitors can admire a huge stretch of unique vineyard surrounded by an immense forest and the House of this ancient villae.

The Wine House is located in a romantic setting next to the garden of the family’s house and the small lake, that results from reconstruction of the estate’s old barn. It is the perfect place for wine tasting accompanied by a platter of the finest Serra da Estrela cheeses, which will inspire visitors to buy the finest wines. Opened only in a very exclusive regime, visitors can also stay at the Casa Villae 1255. This ancestral home has been converted into a private accommodation that allows visitors to experience a truly welcoming family home in the Dão region, with a touch of modernity, offering majestic views, modern amenities and absolute relaxation. Other highlights include tasting lots of wine in the winery, blind wine tasting, wine tours, and local production workshops, among other traditional arts and crafts.

Please note, your browser is out of date.
For a good browsing experience we recommend using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.