Port 1944 Ferreira A.A.
Rich Old Tawny, Quinta Do Rodo, Bottle No. 437460
Provenance: VAR, 1/29/1999
The early 1800s was a watershed era for the vintners of Portugal’s Douro Valley, On one hand, the grape harvest of 1820, after fermenting and aging for four years, presented connoisseurs with a wine of remarkable sweetness, with “plenty of crust and plenty of color…and a well-stained cork,” according to T.G. Shaw, who recorded his views in Wine, the Vine, and the Cellar (1863), The remarkable vintage established Portuguese wine as a favorite among the British.
Talking about A A Ferreira is to talk about 250 years of Port Wine History. They are inseparable.
A A Ferreira, S. A is the first Port Wine company that was founded by a family of wine growers of the Douro valley. Manuel Ferreira, who was already owner of the vines around the areas that are part of the Demarcated Region of the Douro today, started his commercial activity in the beginning of the 18th century. But it was through his grandchildren's work, José Bernardo (1782 - 1853) and António Bernardo (1787 -1835), that functions were established for larger production.
The marriage between two of his descendents, the cousins António Bernardo (1812-1844) and Antónia Adelaide (1811-1896) consolidated the agricultural and commercial activities. Dona Antónia Ferreira became a widow when she was 33. Owner of an exceptional vitality and commercial talent with no comparison in the Portuguese society of her time, despite the political uproar of those times she gave the Douro viticulture a great development, creating new production facilities, very famous today – opening and building roads and trails in practically deserted areas. At the same time, she developed a notorious activity of social assistance, financing the construction of hospitals, day-care schools, in such a way that makes her memory still venerated today. Her intelligence and goodness conquered the admiration of her country fellows, who called her Ferreirinha. It is under this name that, by tradition, Ferreira wines are still ordered in Portugal.
In 1823 Quinta do Vesuvio was bought and in 1863 Quinta do Porto and Dona Antónia Ferreira possessed a lot of quintas such as Vargellas, Granja e Per-o-Couto, Nogueiras e Lodeiro, Caldas, Lourentim, Travassos e Quebrada, Casal de Soutelo. Santinho, Serro, Arnozelo, Moncorvo e Sampaio, Pego, Pousa, Coalheira, Porrais, Valado, Vila Maior, Rodo, Mera e Caucela, Vale do Meao. Her daughter Maria, married to the count of Azambuja sold Vargellas in 1899 to Taylor. Ferriera bought Quinta do Seixo as well as Quinta da Leda as late as in 1979 and Quinta do Caêdo in 1990.
1988 Sogrape bought Ferreira as well as four quintas. In 1989 they sold Quinta do Vesuvio to the Symington family.