The Port is made in the same way as it was when Dona Antonia built this lodge in 1827. Human treading is a major logistical exercise with nearly 50 people needing accommodation at this incredibly remote Quinta miles from anywhere. 18 months ago we spent over €150,000 up-grading the accommodation to at least 3 star hotel standards so that they would be happy to come to the Quinta to pick and to tread. How many wineries put investment in accommodation as a quality requirement?! Not enough people to tread and a traditional lagar becomes a serious liability, not an advantage. Most of the people who come to work with us at Vesuvio come back year after year, we like them and they like us. It has taken time and effort to build relations such as this in the Douro, but we believe it is the right thing to do.
These two pictures were taken on Saturday night when I was in the lagar with my son Rob, who got the evening off from working in the Roriz winery, and my nephew Anthony, Dom’s son. The legs are Rob’s. Both of these young men represent the 5th generation of Symington’s making wine in the Douro. For me, this is what it means to be a true family wine business.