Quinta da Romaneira
Romaneira is one of the largest estates in the region with a total of 412 hectares and 3 kilometres of river frontage on the river Douro. The vineyards are planted on terraces on the steeply sloping hills of the property: with many valleys and promontories, Romaneira contains several microclimates and various South Easterly, South Westerly and Southern facing slopes. The resulting diversity means that the single vineyard wines of Romaneira are made from grapes from a complex blend of sites, and this is one of the keys to the quality and character of Romaneira wines. All wines are made exclusively from grapes from their vineyard, a distinctive characteristic of Quinta da Romaneira wines.
18th & 19th CENTURIES
In 1757, at the time of the Pombaline demarcations, there were already parcels of vineyards as well as some of the Quintas that would become part of Romaneira. Thus, 1757 is only the year of the official registration of the Quinta (made at the time of such demarcations decided by the Marquis of Pombal), since the vines would have been planted a few decades before.
Father Vilaça Bacelar inherited the lands of Romaneira in 1844 and did not go unnoticed by Joseph James Forrester when he created his engraving of Rua Nova dos Ingleses (today, Rua Infante D. Henrique). The priest is among the few Portuguese figures residing in Porto to be portrayed, obviously accompanied by countless Englishmen. Interestingly, Romaneira has, since 2011, its commercial office on that same street in the city of Porto. Romaneira also appears on the famous Map of the Baron of Forrester, dated 1843, with the name "Quinta dos Reis". The abundance of Rosemary will later give the property its current name.
Still in the 19th Century, Joaquim de Souza Guimarães (whose initials are present at the top of the gate of one of the Quinta's houses, dating from 1854) had the glory of having produced the Port wines of 1861 and 1863, that the British auction house “Christie's” bid in 1872. It was a clear indication of the brand's prestige, considering it was the first “Single Quinta” Port to be auctioned there.
Various references are made to the property in works by great authors of the 19th century, such as Henry Vizetelly, who was dedicated to the study of Port Wine. The Viscount of Vila Maior also classifies Romaneira wine as "one of the best in the Douro, notable for its smoothness, body and aroma". The same Viscount referred that the “Tempranillo” grape variety was originally imported from Spain and introduced for the first time in the Douro at Romaneira, later being called “Tinta Roriz”.
In 1942, Arnaldo Dias Monteiro de Barrros acquired Romaneira, integrating several neighboring Quintas that he acquired in the meantime, which made Romaneira a gigantic property (by Douro standards).
In 2004, Christian Seely (responsible, since 1993, for the rebirth of another distinctive property in the Douro, Quinta do Noval) turns his dream into reality, bringing together a group of investors (mostly French) to make the acquisition of Romaneira, a property with 412 hectares and more than 3 kilometers of river front.
In late 2012, Romaneira started to have as partner André Esteves, Brazilian businessman, also in love with the Douro region. With the two partners sharing the same dream, the Quinta is consolidating itself in the elite group of the Douro. Quinta da Romaneira is today, after more than 260 years of existence, at its best. Many of the vineyard plots continue to bear the name of the old pre-phyloxeric estates that originated the property in its current extension: Liceiras, Carrapata, Malhadal, Barca, Bairral and Pulga - most of them classified in the 1757 Pombaline demarcations as producers of “Vinho de Feitoria” (the highest quality at that time - with export capacity through Porto’s “Feitoria Inglesa”).