Joao Nicolau de Almeida & Filhos
The Quinta do Monte Xisto is located in Vila Nova de Foz Côa on the left bank of the impressive Douro River, in the sub-region of Douro Superior. The Quinta covers nearly 100 acres, with only 25 reserved for vines. It was always clear to the Nicolau de Almeida family that maintaining the biodiversity of the terroir was of fundamental importance, as much for the vines themselves as for the region. “We are part of a whole, and it is in that whole that we sought to integrate our project.” For this reason, they choose to work in organic farming, utilizing principles of biodynamic agriculture. The steep hill in the Quinta do Monte Xisto vineyard is comprised of schist; this provides an optimal home to their vines, which in order to survive, must drive their roots deep into the ground, searching for a regular source of water. It is, however, this very struggle for survival that causes the vine to produce grapes with strong and unique personalities.
João Nicolau de Almeida was a pioneer in vertical plantation in Douro, as well as in the study of the grape varieties. The family opted for this planting technique, which allows for the optimization of various levels of exposure and altitudes, in order to permit a blend of warmer and cooler zones. The selection of the varieties was not only based on a knowledge acquired over many years, but also on the diversity afforded by the land and on the principle of absolute respect for the culture and terroir of Douro Superior.