by Odile Bouchard
And just like that, what started out as a communication tool for Quinta do Tedo, Douro Valley and Portugal, to keep in touch with importers and customers, has grown into Kay’s Blog, 10 years strong!
How time flies, like the Tedo bird, over our terraced vineyards, centennial olive orchards, golden land-and water-scapes, observing the evolution of Quinta do Tedo since 1992. I would like to share with you a visual tribute to that evolution, which words alone cannot do justice.
Quinta do Tedo along the banks of the (much thinner!) Douro river. While controversial, the dams constructed in the 60s retain water, produce renewable energy and enable cruise ships and sailboats to navigate the river.
The state of our 18th-century estate in the early 90s, when Kay and Vincent found it on a hiking trip through what used to be a much more poor, undeveloped and agriculture-based Douro Valley. Where there is now our B&B pool and Bistro Terrace, there used to be pigs styes.
Vincent and Jorge stealing away to grill dinner outside (accompanied by a glass of wine, of course!) during harvest in the early 90s. Oh, the simple pleasures of life and working hard in good company, values that sustain our committed and fruitful teamwork today.
Foot treading back in the 90s compared to today shows our respect for tradition, complemented by new generations, nationalities and genders of feet.
Ahead of the trend in Douro, we began the official transition towards organic viticulture practices in 2009. Certified in 2011, we are proud to produce higher quality and more sustainable Portos, Douro DOC Wines and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Thanks also to our horse, Tedo, who tills the narrow land between terraced vineyards, grazes wild flowers and herbs, and provides fertile compost for our vines. Today, we also welcome electric vehicle and Tesla visitors, and use Crimson paper straws in our Bistro Terrace.
Typical Kay and Vincent, approaching each challenge with smiles and excitement! Especially here, at the start of a 2-yr renovation of our old straw basket making workshop and chicken coops into what is now our 5-room B&B. Hard work pays off, today they are still smiling!
Installing a 7000L neutral French oak tank, to be used for aging our Ruby and Vintage Portos. Beyond barrels, Vincent and son Paolo also have a passion for innovation in winemaking. Today, two amphorae adorn our winemaking facilities, stay tuned for what we do with them!
Replanting a parcel of Touriga Nacional and enjoying the view and final product in a Porto Rosé cocktail at Bistro Terrace. Our refreshing, blush colored Porto Rosé is a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barroca.
What started in 2016 as snacks prepared out of Kay’s kitchen by brother and sister, Paolo and Odile, and some friends has flourished into our Bistro Terrace serving tapas to accompany our Portos, Douro DOC Wines and scenic Tedo river views.
Finished in 2018, this 55-meter tunnel dug into (rather than onto, due to UNESCO World Heritage restrictions) the mountainside provides naturally temperature controlled storage for barrel aging. Son Joe made the metal silhouettes of harvesters and Vincent’s brother, Antonin, a talented carpenter, delivered and installed the French oak door and handcrafted frame straight from Burgundy! As a family of art appreciators and creators, you can find other Bouchard creative touches throughout Quinta do Tedo.
Some things don’t change at Quinta do Tedo. The excellent soil, grapes and conditions, talented winemaking, super staff, hard work and passion that emanate from our outstanding products and wine tourism experiences. These (and our “intimidating guard dogs”, including father Circo, and his sons, Jaime (above) and Jeremias) are what our Tedo bird, partners, visitors and customers appreciate and “migrate” back for, year after year.
As for Kay, the usual star of this blog, here’s to 25+ years bringing soul, creativity and joy to the Quinta. Find her out walking by the river, personally welcoming visitors, making sure the plants get watered, and doing so much “behind the scenes” that is essential to Quinta do Tedo’s charming and familiar atmosphere. Each Bouchard adds a special touch to what truly is a family affair. Olé!