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Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira is set in the remote, hot and dry Douro Superior and commands a magnificent north bank position, overlooking a broad sweep of the Douro, directly opposite another Symington family-owned vineyard: Quinta do Vesuvio. The quinta was built close to an ancient and strategic river crossing, guarded by two 12th century hilltop castles, either side of the Douro. A small chapel dedicated to the ‘Lady of the River’ (literally: Senhora da Ribeira) has stood here for centuries and gave the quinta its name. Travelers would make a pause to pray for a safe river passage and onward journey.
Senhora da Ribeira’s wines are some of the finest in the Douro and they complement those from Bomfim in the composition of Dow’s classic Vintage Ports. The latter would be incomplete if one of the two was absent. The quinta’s high proportion of old vines (45% are over 25 years old) is of critical importance. The old vines are very low-yielding, producing on average less than 1Kg of grapes each, giving intense and concentrated musts which are ideal for classic Vintage Port. All the wine is produced by the traditional method of foot treading in the old granite lagares.