If you look at the fine print of our front labels, to include Ruby, Fine Tawny, Finest Reserve, LBV and Vintage you will find flanking either side, 2 symbols – a blazon to the left and a bear to the right. I’ll bet that you do not know what each represents, that when examined more closely could not be more different.
For your information when we first designed our original Quinta do Tedo label in 1992, using the quinta’s exisiting buildings at that time as inspiration was not possible, as the place was in complete disrepair. We decided to create a logo – using the migratory bird oenanthe leucura that sings her song from spring through fall at the quinta. Tedo is the name of the river that borders our property, together with Douro, hence the name Quinta do Tedo. We wanted to also connect ourselves, with divergent backgrounds, to the label….
Getting back to the 2 symbols…on the left is the Burgundy blazon, the region from where Vincent’s family comes. The blazon dates back to 1363. This historical period was the beginning of the glorious age of the Dukes of Burgundy (1364 – 1477), when the Duchy of Burgundy challenged the power of France. To go even further back in time to the 1100s, it was Henri, son of Henri, Duke of Burgundy, who was given the title of Count of Portugal, after fighting in the wars against the Moors on the Iberian peninsula. As gratuitude for his involvement in pushing back the Moors, he was given the hand in marriage to King Alfonso VI of Castille and Leon's daughter, Theresa, who was Countess of Portugal. As part of her dowry was included the County of Portugal, that became Portugal. Their son, Alfonso Henriques, became King of Portugal in 1139. The Burgundians do get around.
On the label's right side is a bear; being Californian, I do not have a blazon symbolizing the state. Vincent and I had to scratch our heads as to what to use to represent my birthplace. What better symbol than the California grizzly (Ursus arctos californicus), the official state animal. An extinct subspecies of the grizzly, the bear is a very large North American brown bear. The bear was first designed on a flag and flown during the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma in 1846, and became the official state animal in 1953. Quite a different time frame of 60 years for the California state animal, the bear, vs. the 750 years of the Burgundy blazon. California’s official state animal was modeled on the last wild Californian grizzly bear in captivity, with a rather interesting story in itself. Named Monarch, the bear was captured in 1889 by Allen Kelley, hired to do so by his famous boss William Randolph Hearst, owner of many publications to include at the time the San Francisco Examiner newspaper. Monarch was a much-loved animal at the San Francisco Zoo for 22 years, and it is said that revered Monarch remains even today symbolic of the heart and soul of Californians.
There is 1 connection between the blazon, the bear and Quinta do Tedo: all represent strength and determination, cheers~