An iconic moment in the wine history is about to happen. The Douro Boys, five of the most renowned producers in the Douro, will be celebrating their 15th anniversary with a promising auction.
To mark the occasion, they have created an outstanding Red Wine Cuvée and a stunning, full-bodied 2017 Vintage Port – both from the sensational 2017 Vintage and bottled exclusively in magnums. A total of 750 magnums of this glorious red will be auctioned that evening, under the conduction of wine specialist Peter Mansell, alongside 350 magnums of the already historic vintage.
50 Lots of exclusive experiences
Both the Cuvée 2017 and the Vintage Port 2017 will be sold exclusively at an auction that will be held on 10 October in the Douro Valley.
The unique Douro Boys Cuvée and the Douro Boys Vintage Port were organized in 50 lots to be sold during the auction, ranging from a single magnum up to 90 units – making them attractive for both private and industry bidders-, along some of the rarest wines from the Douro Boys’ Quintas and very special one-on-one experiences with the winegrowers: a day spent fishing on the Douro with Jaime Olazabal, surfing lessons taught by Miguel Roquette or even a chess game with Dirk Niepoort.
Bids can be placed in writing or live, over the phone. But nothing like attending in person and living this amazing experience overlooking the picturesque steep hillsides laced with the Douro’s intricately terraced vineyards along the majestic Douro River.
The auction will take place on 10 October, 4 pm, at the Six Senses Douro Valley Hotel, in Lamego, Portugal. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bid for these unique wines. Register now!
Curious about the 50 lots? Find the full description of each lot in the auction catalog.
Not convinced yet? Here’s the deal!
2017 is unanimously praised by all wine critics as an outstanding year for Vintage Port – often compared to the legendary 1945 vintage -, so it comes as no surprise that experts, collectors, sommeliers and Port lovers do all they can to add some bottles of these exceptional wines to their collections.
With both The Douro Boys Red Cuvée and the Douro Boys Vintage Port 2017 coming from this magnificent vintage, it’s easy to understand you’re getting a unique opportunity to access some of the most special wines in the world.
Douro Boys Cuvée 2017
Each producer chose particularly expressive wines of the 2017 vintage from his cellar and brought them to the blending sessions. Proprietors and oenologists sat down together for tastings & discussions.
It took them three nights of hard work, until they agreed on the most complex and finest – powerful though still elegant, profound yet refreshing – blend. The result is a remarkably inspiring wine, which is notable for its concentration, vitality and great potential for maturing & expressive development.
The Douro Boys Cuvée 2017 unifies the structured elegance of Vallado, the uncompromising freshness of Niepoort, the charming fruit-driven character of Crasto, the aristocratic minerality of Vale Dona Maria, and the enchanting body of Meão. It is an outstanding wine, one that is marked by unmistakable Douro character.
The Douro Boys Cuvée 2017 has been bottled in 750 Magnums (1.5 litres) and 28 Double Magnums (3 litres).
Douro Boys Vintage Port 2017
For many, 2017 is the greatest year for Vintage Port ever.
Each of the Douro Boys has chosen his most promising lot of the 2017, and they have created together a Vintage Port that will most probably write history.
It is extremely complex, concentrated & impressive. A very seductive port, and hard to resist opening the bottle now – but this Vintage Port has a cellaring potential of many decades, and it is definitely targeted to the following generations of wine lovers.
The Douro Boys Vintage Port 2017 is bottled in 350 Magnums (1.5 litres).
Douro Boys: from Douro lovers to stellar ambassadors
Highly regarded wine producers from the Douro Valley, João Ferreira Álvares Ribeiro, Jorge Roquette, Dirk van der Niepoort, Cristiano van Zeller and Vito Olazabal have campaigned together throughout the world since their founding in 2003 to spread awareness about the unique qualities of Douro wines.
It’s fair to say that the Douro Valley’s striking success and its position as one of the very best wine regions in the world is also due to the efforts of these ‘rebel boys’ – as a matter of fact, they’re not boys anymore, that’s just for fun. They’re actually rather grown-up and the women in their families play a role in the project that’s at least as important as that of the men.
The Douro Boys is a group of five wine estates – Quinta do Vallado, Niepoort, Quinta do Crasto, Quinta Vale D. Maria and Quinta do Vale Meão, which represent not only the top level of quality in the Douro, but number among the very finest and most sought-after wine producers in all of Portugal as well.
Since 2003 they have been working with united efforts, organizing joint presentations, seminars and tastings, all concentrated upon relating the story of their heritage. They have loads of fun doing this, and that their enthusiasm for the culture of wine as well as for life itself is infectious, but you’ll get the chance to judge for yourself.
Quinta do Vallado
The cousins Francisco Ferreira and João Álvares Ribeiro are the owners of the Quinta do Vallado, in the neighborhood of Régua directly on the Corgo river. Vallado was once counted among the landholdings of the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, who in the 19th century evinced unimaginable dynamism, extreme vision and entrepreneurial dexterity, building a veritable empire.
Her descendants Francisco and João have evidently inherited her shrewd business sense, as well as a deep love of the Douro. They have developed the Quinta do Vallado into one of the most dynamic enterprises on the Douro, built a charming and romantic country hotel next to the winery, and created a cult-wine to honor the great matriarch: Adelaide.
Quinta do Crasto
The lively brothers Tomás and Miguel Roquette are in charge of the Quinta do Crasto, located in one of the most magical spots in the Douro Valley, first mentioned in 1615 in official records.
Since Tomás has taken over the management of the estate, and Miguel become responsible for sales, Crasto has developed into one of the leading estates in the Douro. Crasto’s cult-wines, Vinha da Ponte and Vinha Marie-Teresa, are among the most highly rated and sought-after wines from Portugal.
Apart from the unbelievably impressive quality of their bottlings, a get-together with Tomás and Miguel or with their father Jorge is always characterized by great hospitality and joie de vivre. This sort of vitality is exactly that expressed by the wines themselves and has made them highly prized all the way from North America to Japan.
Francisco van der Niepoort came to Portugal from Holland in 1842, with the aim of embarking upon the port trade. Francisco wouldn’t have dared to dream that his great-great-grandson Dirk would make Niepoort into one of the best-known names and most internationally renowned wine producers.
Dirk represents the fifth generation of Niepoorts; he is a wine-fanatic like very few in the entire world. Not only in that he has developed the port wines of his family to classic status, but he also felt obliged to follow his own passion and produce dry table wines. What began as an experiment—one that many folks characterized as ‘undrinkable’—laid the groundwork whereby he became the pathfinder—not only for the Douro, but for Portugal as a nation.
Quinta Vale D. Maria
Cristiano van Zeller is one of the Douro Valley’s most important ambassadors. With considerable passion and the convincing authority of his voice, he spins tales all over the world about his treasure-trove of ancient vines, the plethora of individual grape varieties, and the great character of classic Douro Valley wines.
Cristiano is the communicator par excellence and a very welcome guest at festivals, presentations and events. His Quinta Vale Dona Maria in Rio Torto is a veritable jewel, planted to a myriad of traditional grape varieties, grown on extremely steep hillsides. Together with his wife Joana, he has painstakingly renovated the vineyards of the Quinta, and carefully restored the buildings.
Although Quinta Vale Dona Maria is the smallest estate in the group of the Douro Boys, their wines can be found in the best restaurants and wine-bars all over the world.
Quinta do Vale Meão
All the way to the east, in the Upper Douro right up against the Spanish border, lies the Quinta do Vale Meão, which Francisco (Vito) Olazabal directs, along with his son Xito (oenology) and his daughter Luisa (sales).
Vale Meão was the last great project of Dona Antonia. She acquired this land from the insolvent municipality and was able—helped by thousands of guest-workers from Spain—to construct a very respectable wine estate in the shortest imaginable amount of time. People thought that this was an indication that she’d become old and daft, but it turned out to be the sign of great entrepreneurial perspicacity when the railroad to Pocinho was built, and Meão then had—by means of this made-to-measure logistical solution—the ideal means of transport at their disposal.
Since 1999, Vito and his children have developed the Quinta do Vale Meão into a leading estate, not just in the Douro, but in all of Portugal.
A bit of time with the stars? That’s definitely a possibility!
It’s fair to say the Douro Boys are proper legends, not only in Portugal, but around the world. Wherever they go, there’s a crowd of admirers around them and it’s nearly impossible to meet up individually with the winemakers from the charming Douro valley, who have turned the appellation “Douro” to a great classic in the wine world.
Therefore, the “private experiences” on offer as part of The Douro Boys 15th birthday Auction, are a rare privilege you can’t miss.
Lot n°7: Dirk van der Niepoort
Dirk van der Niepoort is one of the most famous winemakers of the world – therefore he’s always surrounded by a crowd of fans. Want to spend some quality time with him, just two by two? This lot offers a game of chess with Dirk, followed by a dinner for two with selected premium wines at his residence.
Lot n°8: Francisca van Zeller
The female power of the Douro Boys, Francisca van Zeller is smart, pretty, elegant and very knowledgeable about the wines of her own vineyard. By bidding on this lot, you can enjoy an exciting vertical tasting of “Vinha da Francisca”, including a dinner in a restaurant of Francisca’s choice in Porto for you, five friends and her.
Lot n°15: Tomás Roquette
This lot combines nothing but the best – a luxurious dinner for two persons at “The Yeatman” hotel with a selection of the most iconic wines. All together with the famous Tomás Roquette from the not less famous Quinta do Crasto.
Lot n°15: Cristiano van Zeller
This one’s for you and your very best friends – take the once in a lifetime chance to have partridge, shot personally by Cristiano van Zeller, for lunch at Quinta de Santo Inácio de Fiães, paired with Quinta Vale D. Maria. And to make this experience even better, you can watch a FC Porto Champion’s League or Europe’s League football match at Dragão stadium with six persons in total!
Lot n°47: Miguel Roquette
Portugal, the place to be for Surfing! But what do the Douro Boys and the large wooden board have in common? You have the unique chance to get a private surfing lesson by the one and only Miguel Roquette! Simply bid on this lot for conquering the highest waves together with him!
Lot n°24: João Álvares Ribeiro
Always dreamt about travelling to Macau – the Asian version of Las Vegas? Pay the vivid city a visit and add this lot to your trip. It offers a dinner at one of the Casino Hotels with João Álvares Ribeiro and the wines of Quinta do Vallado on a date of your choosing for six persons.
Lot nº 32: Francisco Ferreira
A romantic weekend for two persons during harvest including accommodations for two nights in a suite with candlelight dinner, as well as ‘Harvest Experience’ with Francisco Ferreira, with ‘foot-treading in the lagares’.
How to join the auction
André Ribeirinho is an award-winning food, wine and travel entrepreneur, Portuguese wine correspondent for Decanter and the Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and a Certified Port Educator. Follow André on Twitter and Instagram.
Curated by André Ribeirinho for Portugal Wine Week in partnership with the Douro Boys.