International partnership between …

Internationally acclaimed South African winemaker Beyers Truter will be tackling a fresh challenge at one of the most beautiful properties in Portugal’s Douro Valley. Truter, a self confessed passionate fan of the Douro Valley and its wines, believes in the unique soil characteristics and microclimate this region boasts, combined with the exceptional quality of indigenous wine varietals that have traditionally been used in Port winemaking.

According to Luisa Amorim, director of Quinta Nova in the Douro Valley, the 2006 harvest will be vinified by Beyers Truter and resident winemaker Francisco Montenegro. The sole objective is to create two limited release wines of exceptional quality.

International partnership between Amorim and Beyers Truter

Quinta Nova has already established its credentials, having received several accolades for its vintage Ports from the 1992, 1995, 1997 and 2000 vintages. This farm of 85ha of vineyards was included by Marquis de Pombal in 1756 as part of the first demarcated wine growing region in the world which boasts UNESCO World Heritage Status. Quinta Nova stretches for 1,5km along the northern bank of the Douro River. Its category A vineyards are blessed with magnificent exposure to the sun, producing some of the highest quality grapes in the region.

Amorim’s belief and pride in Quinta Nova is reflected in its considerable investment in the property – six million Euros in vineyard plantings, upgrading the cellar facilities and also creating the first wine hotel in the Douro Valley – all since 2000. The cellar, incidentally, dates back to 1764! The hotel not only allows guests the chance of living both the wine and vine experience by following the day-today activities on the property, but also hosts wine courses during harvest.

The Portuguese/South African partnership will be marked by the creation of the first transcontinental red blend of indigenous varietals bottled in South Africa. The red blend, produced in limited amounts, consists of TOURIGA NACIONAL crushed in an open lagar and aged in French barrels in Portugal, and PINOTAGE, crushed and aged at Truter’s own wine farm, Beyerskloof, in Stellenbosch. To prepare the first blend, one 300l barrel of the best 2005 Touriga Nacional had a long journey by boat from Pinhao – this time not to the Gaia quay as Port wines were transported during the 1900’s, but to Cape Town. The barrel was specially wrapped in aluminium foils to prevent any fluctuation in temperature during transport.

The wine has a deep, intense, ruby red colour. The forthcoming nose shows aromas of French oak and cedar, complemented by spicy black fruits. The elegant palate bursts with black cherry flavours, complexity and soft tannins that linger in the mouth and memory, long after the wine has gone. Ideal to drink now, this wine will improve in the bottle for 15 years if cellared correctly. This unique wine represents a vinous alliance between Europe and Africa, the old and new world wine producing countries, the blend of two varietals – the legacy of the past and future.