Real Companhia Velha is the oldest and most emblematic wine company in Portugal, having celebrated this year 258 years of existence and uninterrupted activity in the service of Port Wine.

History has left us with a record of an incredible story and a glorious past. For the future we hold the desire to maintain the high standard of quality in our wines and the confidence that the rigorous and visionary philosophy of this company will write down even more history. 

Since the founding on the 10th of September in 1756 by Royal Charter of D. José I, King of Portugal, the importance of this Ex-Majestic Company was reflected by the valuable services to the community.
At some of best Quintas in the Douro, we have been able to preserve and honour the tradition while investing in the future, with a constant modernization and experimentation at our vineyards.

OUR HISTORY

Real Companhia Velha is the oldest and most emblematic wine company in Portugal, having celebrated this year 258 years of existence and uninterrupted activity in the service of Port Wine. 

History has left us with a record of an incredible story and a glorious past. For the future we hold the desire to maintain the high standard of quality in our wines and the confidence that the rigorous and visionary philosophy of this company will write down even more history.

THE DISCOVERY OF PORT

The discovery of Port Wine results from a pure coincidence. During the 16th Century, English merchants, rooted in the City of Porto, supplied their wine trade from vineyards planted in the Douro Valley. Before travelling, they would add wine brandy into the barrels to ensure the wine’s preservation. The successful integration of wine, oak and brandy resulted in a fortified but very enjoyable wine, thus, Port Wine was created. 

CELLARS

Once the harvest is concluded, the winter arrives to take the place of the warm and pleasant Autumn. It is at our cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia that the young Ports ageing for many years, gaining in structure and complexity.

Deep in the silence of our cellars, Ports rest in noble oak barrels, a product of the hand of skilled coopers that have working with the Company for many generations. 

Asleep in a unique environment, the barrels and vats for Port are lost in time... 10... 20... 30 years... who cares! ... Only the time necessary for each Port to achieve its exact point of maturation. 

The cellars’ proximity to the sea, offers the natural climatic conditions that are essential for the ageing process of this sublime nectar, valued for the aged colour and velvety texture on the palate, result of a natural “oxidation” development: the mysterious process of breathing through the pores of the oak.

DOURO VALLEY

In 2001, UNESCO classified the Douro Valley as World Heritage for the beauty of its landscape, its unique culture and its natural state. Known as the oldest Demarcated Wine Region in the World, the Douro offers an anthropic landscape, a true masterpiece created by the many generations that have lived in this land by perfecting and mainly preserving its culture and tradition.

Over centuries, people have developed a process of adaptation to the knowledge and techniques of viticulture in the Douro Valley, which now is considered one of the most beautiful wine regions in the World.

The Douro Valley is identified for its unique and imposing beauty with vineyards planted on its traditional terraces and supported by the ancestral schist walls, who have become true keepers of its history, architecture and landscape.

The region is known as the birth place for Port Wine and became notably recognized during the 17th Century with the founding of the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro, also entitled Real Companhia Velha, on the 10th of September 1756. Considering its role delegated by the State, this Majestic Company created the first demarcation of the region, the so called “Demarcação Pombalina da Região do Douro”, developing, during the first century of existence, important functions in terms of regulation, control and discipline in the production of Port Wine.

The Douro is characterized for its mountain culture, benefiting from an extremely tumultuous orography and a series of mountain chains on the South and West, while limited to areas of plateau on the North and East. Its climate is depicted by cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The region is divided into three sub-regions, each having very particular characteristics: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. 

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