The Symington’s family has been making Port for five generations and is the largest vineyard owner in the Douro. In the remote Upper Douro Valley, the magnificent 261 hectare (642 acre) Quinta dos Canais vineyard produces some of the Douro’s finest wines and has formed the mainstay of Cockburn’s Vintage Ports for nearly a century. At Canais, the grapes are picked by hand and are used for Cockburn’s premium wines, including Special Reserve. Over half is planted with the Douro’s principal varieties, the Touriga Nacional (26%) and the Touriga Franca (33%). The property’s steeply terraced vineyards overlook the River Douro and benefits from an ideal south-facing aspect. This ensures ample exposure to the sun and therefore perfectly ripe grapes. This unique terroir creates the Quinta dos Canais Vintage Ports; intense, full-bodied wines with opulent fruit, balanced with peppery tannins and underpinned with fresh acidity.
The Douro valley is the home of Port production and is one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world. The vineyards follow a band of Schist along the valley rising up in steep terraced slopes from the river. Upstream lies Spains Ribera del Duero. Increasingly, unfortified wines are produced here, but it is really for great vintage port that the region is known.