The grapes to produce the “Vinha Grande” Douro Branco Casa Ferreirinha were destemmed and gently crushed using a pneumatic press. A short pre-fermentation cold maceration on the skins was carried out to extract maximum aromatics. Fermentation at controlled temperatures took place in both stainless-steel tanks and French oak barrels. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. 50% of the wine was aged in 500-litre new French oak barrels for eight months and 50% was kept in stainless-steel tanks. Regular lees stirring was carried out during the six months following fermentation on both the barrel-aged component and the component kept in tank.
The Viosinho, Arinto, Rabigato and Gouveio grapes were grown on the Quinta do Sairrão estate, which sits at 600m above sea level in the Cima Corgo region. Soils are schistous, a dense, slate-like metamorphic rock which fractures vertically, allowing the vine roots to delve deep to access water and nutrients. The poor quality of the soil forces the vines to produce lower yields and results in wines characterised by great concentration of flavour.
The origins of Casa Ferreirinha date back to 1952 and the production of the first ever vintage of Barca-Velha. Fernando Nicolau de Almeida kick started the quality revolution in Douro still wines and Casa Ferreirinha was the first producer in the region dedicated entirely to producing still table wine, rather than Port. Named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira, one of the formidable widows of the world of wine, Casa Ferreirinha, pays homage to the memory of this visionary woman. Purchased by Sogrape in 1987, Casa Ferreirinha has 520 hectares of vineyard in all of the three Douro sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. The staggeringly beautiful Quinta da Leda is Casa Ferreirinha’s flagship estate, located close to the border with Spain in the far east of the Douro Superior, it is the source of grapes for many of the top wines. The great Luís Sottomayor has been head winemaker since 1989 and restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a vibrant freshness allied to a wonderful texture and depth.