The grapes to produce the “Castas Escondidas” Douro Tinto Casa Ferreirinha were destemmed and crushed, then moved to stainless-steel vats for fermentation at controlled temperatures. Following fermentation, the wines were moved to used 225-litre French oak barrels and aged in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for around 18 months. During this period, the wines underwent careful analysis and several tastings by Luís and the winemaking team and the final blend was assembled from a selection of the best barrels and then fined and filtered prior to bottling.
“Castas Escondida” translates as “hidden varieties” and showcases some of the lesser known grape varieties of the Douro Valley: Touriga Fêmea, Tinta Francisca, Marufo and the marvellously named Bastardo – the Portuguese name for the Jura’s Trousseau. Luís sourced the grapes from a range of vineyard sites in the Douro Superior and Cima Corgo from a combination of Casa Ferreirinha-owned vineyards and trusted growers, with whom he has worked for many years. He also included a significant proportion of fruit from old, low-yielding, field-blend plots in the blend.
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.