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A Taste Of The Douro With Quinta Do Crasto

Recently, I virtually explored the DÃO wine region in Portugal. I thought it might be fun to “virtually” stop by the Douro wine region since it is so close by and taste a few wines from the Quinta do Crasto winery.

Quinta do Crasto is a fourth-generation, family-run business that has been in the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for more than 100 years. It is also one of the oldest winemaking estates in the Douro region. The earliest written records mentioning Quinta do Crasto and its wine production date back to 1615. One hundred forty years later, in 1756, the Douro became the first-ever demarcated and regulated wine region in the world. And in 2001, UNESCO sanctioned the Douro region as a World Heritage site.

Quinta do Crasto is headquartered in the heart of Douro Valley, in Gouvinhas, a municipality of Sabrosa. It is one of the most picturesque parts of the Douro.

Photo courtesy of

Constantino de Almeida bought Quinta do Crasto in the early 20th century. He was famous for his wine house dedicated to the production of port. After his passing in 1923 Constantino’s son, Fernando Moreira d’Almeida, took on the management and production of high-quality Port wine at Quinta do Crasto.  In 1981, Leonor Roquette, the daughter of Fernando Moreira d’Almeida, together with her husband Jorge Roquette assumed majority ownership and management of the estate.  With the help of their sons, Miguel and Tomás and daughter, Rita they renovated and extended the vineyards and began producing Douro DOC wines, which the winery is now known for both domestically and abroad.

The Roquette family.   Photo courtesy of Quinta do Crasto

The Douro may be famous for supplying the world with its production of port wine, however, it is now being praised for its succulent and refined unfortified wines, both red and white.  And, Quinta do Crasto is producing top quality wines combining a state-of-the-art wine cellar with traditional methods of winemaking. In addition to port and unfortified wines, they also produce olive oil.

Quinta do Crasto has four estates spread across the sub-regions of the Douro Demarcated Region of northern Portugal.  The Douro experiences a hot, continental climate with each sub-region demonstrating its own unique topography, soil and water resources.


Quinta do Crasto is a 335-acre estate of which 185 acres are planted to vines located in the Cima Corgo sub-region. Most of the vineyards are on south-facing slopes that extend from the banks of the Douro River to an altitude of almost 600 meters. The soils are of schist complex types that can absorb and retain heat. This combined with dry conditions and excellent sun exposure forces the roots to grow dozens of meters deep in search of water. All of these conditions contribute to the complexity and intensity of the wines produced. Small plots of old vines that total 98 acres are located on terraces with stone retaining walls to protect these older vines, some of which are a hundred years old.

Quinta do Crasto recently expanded their vineyards to the Douro Superior sub-region with a new vineyard of 371 acres.

I recently received two samples of Quinta do Crasto wine from the Cima Corgo sub-region.

Photo credit:  Penny Weiss

Crasto White 2018
This wine is a blend of 40% Viosinho, 30% Gouveio and 30% Rabigato indigenous grapes. Eighty five percent of the blend was matured in stainless steel vats and 15% of the blend was fermented and aged in used French oak barrels for three months.

Photo credit:  Penny Weiss

Light lemon in color, aromas of floral, citrus and pineapple give way to a fresh and lively wine on the palate. Notes of minerality are well integrated with a creamy texture and lemon zest on the finish. Rabigato contributes to the natural acidity, Gouveio contributes citrus notes and Viosinho adds dimension and texture. Enjoy as an aperitif or serve with seafood, grilled fish, white meat and light pasta.
Alcohol: 12%
SRP:  $20

Crasto Red 2018
This wine is a blend of 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 25% Touriga Franca and 10% Tinta Barroca indigenous grapes.  Eighty five percent of the blend was aged in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and 15% in French oak barrels for six months.

Photo credit:  Penny Weiss

Deep purple in color, this wine has a heady bouquet of fresh ripe berries, floral and baking spice. The palate offers dark berries, plum, spice, anise, a hint of pomegranate and chalky minerality. Acidity, tannins and texture are nicely balanced. Pair with grilled meat, pasta, stews and grilled tuna.
Alcohol:  14.5%
SRP:  $20

Both wines are well structured and exhibit freshness and balance.   And, they pair well with many seasonal dishes.  Pour yourself a glass of the “Douro Valley” and enjoy!

Until next time…



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