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In 1993, the decision was made to vinify, age and bottle production on the estate, under the Vallado label. The best old vineyards were left untouched, but otherwise there was widespread replanting with only the best grape varieies. The cellar and winemaking equipment were modernized in 1997 to facilitate top-quality wine production.
Perhaps the single greatest step the family took to ensure quality and commercial success was the hiring of Cristiano Van Zeller as consultant. Widely regarded as one of the most talented producers in the Douro, he left Quinta do Noval to pursue various exciting new projects of his own creation. These include the De Zellaer range of Ports, and a red Douro from his Quinta do Vale Dona Maria. Despite these other commitments, Cristiano takes his responsibilities at Vallado very seriously, and is closely involved in all aspects of production, from vineyard management through vinification and ageing, to blending and even marketing. His influence is apparent in the high quality of both the wines and Ports now made at Quinta do Vallado.
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