The Port Wine House "A. A. Ferreira", located in Porto
(suburb Vila Nova de Gaia) in the Portuguese region of Douro
, was founded in 1751. Under the leadership of the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira (1811-1896) it developed into one of the largest and most important producers of port wine
. First she married her cousin A. B. Ferreira, one of the richest men in Portugal
. After his death, she married Francisco Torres, the manager of the Ferreira estate. After his death, she took over the management of the house with great success. It was during this period that she bought the Lodge (warehouse) in 1876, which was owned by the family until 1987, when it was sold to Sogrape
. The port wines come from the vineyards of the Quinta do Seixo and Quinta do Porto estates. The relatively early maturing Vintage Ports are characterized by an often light style. Among the best products are the Tawnys Superior, Dona Antónia and the Duque de Bragança, aged for 20 years in oak barrels.
In the 1950s, the legendary Douro red wine Barca Velha
was created, which is now one of the best and most expensive wines
in Portugal. The name refers to sailboats that used to bring the young port wine to the warehouses. It is mainly made from the Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) grape variety, blended with Touriga Franca and other indigenous varieties. The grapes came from the Quinta do Vale Meão (which was then sold) until 1999, and then from the Quinta da Leda. Traditionally, the crushing
of the grapes and the maceration of the must is done in lagares
(stone troughs). It matures for 18 months in new French (formerly Portuguese) oak barrels. Like a vintage port, it is only produced in particularly outstanding years. This was the case in 1965, 1966, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1991 (considered particularly outstanding) and 1995. In less good years it is marketed as a second wine under the name "Ferreirinha Reserva Especial". An inexpensive third red wine is called "Vinha Grande".