Duorum wine project
Many thanks to Sarah Ahmed aka 'The Wine Detective' on whose recent visit report we have updated the website info.
On the banks of the upper Douro around Vila Nova de Foz Coa and Castelo Melhor, lies this astonishing new plantation, with in excess of 160 hectares going under vine. This is a massive undertaking, and outstrips the normal size of neighbouring vineyards many-fold. Jose Maria Soares Franco and business partner João Portugal Ramos pounced on Quinta do Castelo Melhor (pictured below), which rises to 485m in 2006, when it was the only place on the shadier, north-facing left bank of the Douro between the river Coa and Spanish border yet to be planted.
It’s a sizeable investment – 160ha, acquired in 68 parcels, of which 40ha are currently under vine. However, Soares Franco who, for 27 years made Barca Velha was convinced of the site’s potential from the off. And compared with when he started out working in the Douro Superior in 1979 aged 25, these days the commute from Oporto is much shorter. In the old days, it took seven and a half hours; these days it’s only two and a half!
The new plantings range from one to four years old. The new vineyard first contributed to the wines in 2011 and, to date, the Duorum range is principally made from older vine fruit from leased vineyards in the Douro Superior (between 400-500m) and 20 parcels in the Cima Corgo, which is where the wines are made in a rented winery.
At Castelo Melhor, always with a view to elegance, Touriga Franca (which retains freshness well) is planted closest to the river (which is warmer), then Sousao (which also holds its freshness well) midslope, with Touriga Nacional at the (cooler) top, also smatterings of Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Francisca. For whites Viosinho, Verdelho, Codega, Rabigato and Arinto.
See this excellent report on the project, by Jamie Goode, The Wineanorak, dated March 2009
This recent report by Sarah Ahmed, April 2012 brings you up to date
Also see www.duorum.pt for full details about the project
Please note these are TABLE WINES, not ports
Tons de Duroum white 2012
Tons de Duorum red 2010/11
Duorum Colheita 2009/10
Duorum reserva 2007/9 old vines
Vintage port wines 2011 Duorum vintage port
- now declared
2008 Duorum 'Vinha do Castelo Melhor' vintage port
2009 Duorum vintage port