Graham’s has recently acquired another vineyard immediately adjacent to Quinta dos Malvedos on the western side. Originally three separate quintas but now known collectively as Quinta do Sibio, the owners have sold their grapes to Graham’s for some years.
With 19 hectares of vineyard, the total property is something over 40 hectares, and runs in roughly a narrow rectangle from the river front right up the hillside almost to the skyline. The lower half of the vineyards are planted on soil banked terraces and at a point where the hillside flattens out a bit there is an old house and farm buildings surrounded by gentler slopes planted vertically (vinhos ao alto). The main house bears a fine coat of arms on its outside wall signifying that it was once the property of a Portuguese nobleman. There are two additional ruined farmhouses with stunning views over the Douro.
As at Malvedos, the vineyards face primarily south, so enjoy excellent conditions for full ripening most years, and are planted with the typical Douro varieties. Also like Malvedos, the property is not wholly vineyard, but has large areas of natural shrub, and a rather charming orange and olive grove planted between the train line and the river bank. In addition, there are three natural springs on the property.
Given that Sibio and Malvedos border one another and their respective farm tracks can be easily connected, they will be managed jointly and Senhor Arlindo and Alexandre Mariz, the Malvedos caseiro and viticulturist respectively, will take responsibility for the care of the vineyards throughout the year. Together with our head winemaker Charles Symington, they will be assessing the vines in greater detail over the next few months and making decisions about how to handle the harvest this year.
In the past, as with other bought in grapes, the production was vinified at nearby Quinta do Tua, but it is possible that Charles may choose to send some or all of the grapes to the winery at Quinta dos Malvedos. Very roughly, 19 hectares of vines at our usual production levels could mean another 5 or 6 lagares for Henry Shotton and the winery team to vinify, if we chose to take all of it into Malvedos.
Stay with us in the coming months on the blog as we explore and learn more about this exciting addition to Graham’s Douro vineyards.