Quinta do Infantado

Quinta do Infantado just celebrated its 200th birthday as a wine estate! It was founded in 1816 in the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro (considered its finest zone for both Port and dry wines), by the Portuguese crown heir, D. Pedro IV, hence the name of the estate: “Infante” is is Portuguese for Prince. The Roseira family has owned it for over a century; today it is run by brother Joao and his sister-in-law Catherine.  All of Infantado’s vineyards are classified as “class 'A'”, the top ranking for the Douro, essentially “grand cru”. Their 10 hectares are planted at altitudes ranging from 280-300m and are the traditional grapes of Port--Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional are the bulk, with about 10% of others—interplanted as is typical on the steep, hard-soiled, schistous slopes of Cima Corgo. Harvest is by hand; the grapes are partly destemmed and tread by foot in traditional stone lagars,; fermentation is long and slow. That slow development from the outset leads to a medium-dry or meio-seco style for which Infantado is known:  higher alcohol and less sugar in the base wines means less brandy added for fortification and an overall more vinous, less syrupy, balanced style.