Port 1947 Messias
Provenance: Christies, 9/29/1997
Stencilled Front, Label on Back
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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.
Sociedade Agrícola e Comercial dos Vinhos Messias, S. A., was established in 1926 by Mr. Messias Baptista that got involved in the Port Wine business and production in 1934 but start shipping vintage port in 1950s. Today, the descendants are in the board of directors.
Quinta do Cachão is located in the Cima Corgo, the most rugged and inaccessible region in the entire Douro region. Although it did provide excellent conditions for the production of Port Wine, this landscape of steep slopes, which drop vertically into the river, did not begin to be used for the cultivation of wines until the early years of the 19th century. The major reason which prevented exporters from cultivating this region was the Cachão da Valeira, a huge rock which blocked the Douro River and obstructed all navigation, making it impossible to transport wines to Vila Nova de Gaia, at the mouth of the Douro River, and from there to ship them around the world. When the rock was finally demolished in 1807, the river became navigable, and slowly Port wine producers began to build new Estates in this region. This was the case of the Quinta do Cachão, which owes its name to famous Cachão da Valeira. Vineyards were first planted in 1845 by the Barão do Seixo, which sold the property years latter to Afonso Cabral. Once the plague had been overcome, the heirs of Afonso Cabral kept the Estate in the family, until 1956, when it was purchased by Messias in a very run down state and 1958 Messias purchased the neighbouring Quinta do Rei from Gonzales- Byass and began a complete renovation of the Quinta do Cachão.
Until 2009 the label Quinta do Cachão (or only Cachão) was used on some markets for the exact same wine as Messias. 2009 was the first time two different Vintages were produced in the same year, both Messias and Quinta do Cachão.