To produce the Vintage Port Delaforce Real Companhia Velha, once the grapes have been crushed, the fermentation starts to convert the natural sugar of the grape juice into alcohol. At this time, the grape skins must be constantly submerged in the fermenting wine so that they release the natural substances which give the wine its structure, colour and flavour. For Delaforce’ s most prestigious wines this is done by foot treading, an expensive but very effective method. Other wines are made in specially designed fermentation tanks. When about half of the natural sugar of the grape juice has been fermented, a small amount of clean and neutral grape spirit is added to the wine. This fortification, as it is known, stops the fermentation and preserves some of the natural sweetness of the grape in the finished wine. The wine is then left to settle in large vats until early the following year when it is taken down to the coast to age in the cool and tranquil wine cellars, known as ‘lodges’, in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Real Companhia Velha was founded in 1756 by the King of Portugal, this company represents some of the finest Quintas in the Douro. Old but not out of touch, they have been able to preserve and honor the traditional winemaking while investing in the future with constant modernization and experimentation in their vineyards at some of best Quintas in the Douro. Over the years, Delaforce has developed a reputation for its outstanding blending and ageing skills which express themselves in the company’s wines and ports, in particular the renowned aged tawny port.
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