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Quinta Vale D. Maria Vinha do Rio


Quinta Vale D. Maria Vinha do Rio has a silky, deep, enveloping profile and its long, almost stubborn finish makes this wine unforgettable.

Wine Enthusiast: 94 points
Revista de Vinhos: 95 points
Revista Grandes Escolhas: 19 points

We can consider the winter of 2020 in the Douro Region as a good one, since it rained more than previous years and contributed to restoring the water levels in the soil. However, February was warmer than normal and caused an early budbreak, forcing us to make some adjustments right at the beginning of the cycle. Spring arrived very mild but brought along all the fears of the pandemic and the first confinement in Portugal. Fortunately, we were able to successfully complete all the necessary tasks in the vineyard on time. In July the climatic conditions changed, and we experienced one of the hottest Julys on record in Portugal. It was a challenge for the vines that had sunburn problems. Luckily, in mid-August the temperatures dropped and there was even some precipitation, which allowed the vine to start the final stage of maturation with some comfort. The harvest began with the whites on the 31st of August at Vinha de Martim, and the reds on the 4th of September at Vinha do Rio.

Grape origin:

With less than one hectare, this small vineyard is located near the River Torto, which runs at the foot of Quinta Vale D. Maria. It features 29 different grape varieties, with a predominant presence of Tinta Barroca (almost 50%), all planted mixed together, in a vineyard with an average age of 80 years – our oldest vines. Facing south, this vineyard benefits from several hours of shade in the late afternoon due to its proximity to the hill and the height of the mountain that stretches in front of it. Since our first harvest at Quinta Vale D. Maria in 1996, we have identified unique characteristics in each parcel. Vintage after vintage, the winery filled with vibrant and penetrating aromas whenever the grapes from the Vinha do Rio were vinified. These grapes were previously included in the blend of Quinta Vale D. Maria Vinhas Velhas until the day it was decided to vinify and bottle them separately, showcasing the rare elegance and distinction of the wine it produced. This decision was made in 2009 and has remained in all the subsequent years.

Vinification and ageing:

All the grapes are hand-picked, carefully selected on a sorting table, and foot-trodden in granite lagares, where they ferment for 7 to 10 days at temperatures of 22°C to 27°C (103.6°F to 113°F). Subsequently, they are transferred to new selected 225L French oak barrels, where malolactic fermentation and aging take place for 21 months. The final barrel selection and blending typically occur between May and June of the second year after the harvest, followed by bottle aging.

Tasting notes:

The Quinta Vale D. Maria Vinha do Rio 2020 presents an intense nose with fruity notes, various spices, hints of tobacco, and slight notes of chocolate. In the mouth, the wine is textured, surprisingly fresh, with great vigor, extremely flavorful, and with soft and silky tannins.
An exceptional field blend from the Douro region that stands out for its elegance and complexity.

Technical Analysis

Total acidity
5.5 g/L
14.5% vol
Total sugars
<2 g/L
Bottling date
July of 2022


Diogo Campilho
Rui Viana
Valérie Lavigne


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