Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserva Tawny Port
Since 1751, the Ferreira name has been synonymous with high-quality Portuguese wines. The first Portuguese owned Port house, its history is intertwined with the evolution of the Douro Region and its wines.
The story of Ferreira is inextricably associated with one extraordinary woman. Daughter of one of the company’s founders, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira was born in the country town of Régua, gateway to the wines of the Douro Valley, in 1811. Though small in stature and reserved by nature, Dona Antónia was charismatic, visionary and entrepreneurial. She created new expanses of terraced vineyards and improved the hard lives of local farming families. The local people’s affectionately called her ‘A Ferreirinha’ – ‘the little Ferreira’. When ‘The Ferreirinha’ died in 1896, she left behind a portfolio of great Douro estates and an immensely successful business.
Today, more than 250 years after its foundation, Ferreira is the only great Porto Wine house to have always remained in Portuguese family hands. Ferreira is quintessentially Portuguese and a benchmark in excellent, quality Ports. It is a symbol of the country and culture it proudly honors.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.
The Douro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.