Harvested mid-November the crop was abundant and healthy, picked during sunny days and taken to one of the few Portuguese organic olive oil press facilities aka lagar de azeite (in existence since the late 1600s!) called Casa de Santo Amaro in nearby Mirandela. First press using a cold method of extraction, the result is an extra virgin olive oil that is concentrated in flavor and irresistible – fruity, soft yet with peppery and bitter notes, full mid-mouth and with a long finish.
The above photos show different olive varieties at Quinta do Tedo, they were taken in October about a month before the olive harvest.
When asked what dishes are complimented by our olive oil my response is almost the same as for our red wines; a cuisine based on onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and herbs – ironically what flourishes in our summer vegetable garden. Perfect for dressing salad, with a little vinegar, freshly cracked black pepper and fleur de sel. The culinary options are endless, a drizzle will heighten many dishes.
An interesting note is that there are over 600 olive cultivars, a plant variety that has been selectively breeded, There is only one species in the olea genus, europaea, that produces the edible olives and oil. The olive is native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago. It is among the oldest known cultivated tree in the world – being grown before the written language was invented.
For more information about our olive plantings please consult my 1/2011 blog http://www.quintadotedo.com/blog/?p=128. Our 2015 olive oil will be available in January 2016.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Français.
For years we have wanted hand painted decorative panels of azulejos - tiles - in our lagares – our open fermentation tank room where we foot tread and make our outstanding Ports. First we had to sell enough Porto! Second Vincent and I couldn’t figure out what to use as a theme – the Quinta do Tedo bird was an obvious, but how to make our « own story » conveyed as well? Jorge made it very clear after last year’s harvest that we needed to move forward, and suggested to combine our own viticultural backgrounds into the panels. The result is 6 beautiful blue and white azulejos panels – 2 m x 1.7 m / 6 ft x 4.5 ft in size – 5 adorning our lagares walls and 1 displayed outside – with scenes of the Quinta and Vincent’s Burgundian and my Napa Valley backgrounds. How very appropriate !
The word ajulejo originates from Arabic « al-zuleique » ….meaning « small, smooth polished stone », and were developed in the 13th century to imitate Roman mosaics. They are synomonous with Portuguese culture and colorfully decorate interiors and exteriors of churches, palaces, houses, train and subway stations, schools, restaurants, garden walls…even park benches ! They also have a function – to control temperatures in buildings. Predominantly blue and white but also mulitcolored, with religious, historical and cultural scenes, they are inviting to the eye.
I had the honorable assignment to make the project happen. Thanks to very talented artists the tiles were hand painted at the Aleluja factory in Aveiro, the same factory that created the panels for the train station in Pinhão, with renowned panels showing Douro Valley viticultural traditions. Our panels were installed just before the harvest started and they definitely give life to the lagares walls, a welcome improvement.
Harvest comments from Jorge and Vincent: beautiful and healthy grapes! Not a large harvest and grapes are small and very concentrated. Started early on 31 August to be sure to have maximal fruit aromas and acidity, and almost finished before mid-September rains. Visitors are asking if this looks like a Vintage year and the indicators look very promising.
We have had a gorgeous September – warm, dry and perfect for basking in the sun when not working (I wish…). Visitors show more interest than ever as to how Port is made and we are proud to have a solid visitor’s center with personable technical guided tours followed with tastings of our « nectars » – Ruby, Finest Reserve Ruby, Tawny, 10 and 20 year Tawnies, Late Bottled Vintage, and different Vintages, Douro DOC, Douro DOC Reserva, Douro DOC Grande Reserva Savedra and our organic Olive Oil.
Tedo Valley and etc:
We await you !
I liken Porto and Douro DOC winemaking to fine cooking. The blending of different varietals, like the blending of fresh ingredients, herbs and spices into what becomes a delicious dish, creates the complexity needed in our award-winning Portos and 3 Douro Doc red wines. Each varietal, while picked at the same time, provides a different “touch” to the end result. 26 heat resistant, almost all native red varietals are planted in our 14 hectares / 35 acres of vineyards at Quinta do Tedo, but we depend on 5 varietals for consistent « house style ». Our grapes are farmed organically with the aid of a horse and workers (and a recent introduction of a tractor for certain replanted parcels) and are harvested by hand. The very busy time of the year, harvest or vindima, is almost here.
Following are brief descriptions of these white-juiced red varietals, and what they offer to our Porto and Douro DOC winemaking. The photos were taken 23 August.
Touriga Nacional, considered Portugal’s finest grape variety, has dense tannins that give structure and depth. Small cylindrical-conical moderately compact clusters have aromas of wild berries and very ripe blackberries with floral notes, to include violets.
Tinta Roriz, one of the most famous varietals of the Iberian peninsula, also known as Tempranillo or Aragonez, provides good structure, firm tannins and ageability. Medium-sized, cylindrical-conical moderately compact clusters have aromas of wild berries and blackberries.
Sousão adds deep color and acidity. Medium-sized, cylindrical-conical and winged, medium to very compact clusters have aromas of wild berries and currants and vinous and savory flavors.
Tinta Cão, translated “red dog”, late ripening, provides more length than depth. Very small and loose clusters, with lighter green leaves than other varietals, have delicate aromas of wild berries, currants and wild flowers.
Touriga Franca is the most widely planted varietal in Douro Valley and gives texture and length in the finish. Medium-big, cylindrical-conical and winged, medium compact clusters have aromas of very ripe black fruit, combined with balsamic notes.
The end result – open up a bottle and taste for yourself~
Sorry, this entry is only available in Français.
When we bought the quinta in 1992 the property was in dire need of renovation. Vincent and I were on a tight budget and we couldn’t commission a graphic artist to come up with a clever logo for branding. Instead we chose to use our own creativity. Our quinta, bordered by Douro and Tedo rivers, is home to an impressive variety of birds. Nature lovers that Vincent and I are, we agreed on a bird logo and chose the wheateater, or oenanthe leucurus that winters at the Tedo. Wanting a logo with graphic impact, we searched through books for ideas as the internet was less used the early 90s. We were particularly inspired by the illustrations from “Chez Panisse Café Cookbook”, (from the legendary restaurant in Berkeley, California where owner Alice Water pioneered California’s “farm-to-table” culinary movement). The cookbook’s visually strong vegetable block prints (they are lovely!) were the catalyst to what became our bird logo. Musical notes for the bird’s song were added to show our passion for music. The wing is shaped like a ½ heart to attract the romantic (all of us). Vincent felt that all these details would make for a successful label – eye catching, timeless and successful branding.
The bird logo is used for our different Porto and olive oil labels, and a modern partial cut of the bird is used for our Douro red wines labels. We have also used the bird logo to decorate the quinta – on walls, on signs, on cisterns – even on trash cans along Tedo river!
I am proud to share with you another artistic addition by youngest son Joe. As a project for his last highschool year, he designed a man carrying a basket full of grapes on his back and a lady cutting grapes in the vineyard, both common sights during the vindimia, or harvest. Cut out onto galvanized steel towering 2.5 – 3 m or 8 – 10 ft tall, these stylized designs will be placed strategically on our terraced vineyards. In the meantime Joe has painted the designs on our electric tower, sharing with those passing by 2 Portuguese harvest traditions.
Soon we will release another artistic addition: traditional azulejos decorationg the lagars, to be discussed in a future blog.
…for your ongoing support and to our Quinta do Tedo team’s hard work, word is out about 2 wonderful awards:
The bird is singing – l’oiseau chante – o pássaro canta - der Vogel singt - el pájaro canta – l’uccello canta !
Here are links for your browsing:
… pour votre incessant soutien et au dur labeur de l’équipe de Quinta do Tedo, il n’y a pas de mot pour ces 2 magnifiques prix :
Pour nos prestations d’Oenotourisme c.à.d. visites, dégustations et nos 5 chambres d’hôte.
L’oiseau chante – The bird is singing – o pássaro canta – der Vogel singt – el pájaro canta – l’Uccello canta !
Nous vous attendons à Quinta do Tedo.
Voici les liens pour votre navigation :