Wine production in the Douro Valley actually preceded that of Port, when barrels of wine were fortified with brandy to preserve them for the long sea journeys to northern Europe. Quinta do Vallado was established in 1716 by the Feirrera family as a grape growing estate for port production, and this tradition continued until the current owners, Guilherme Álvares Ribeiro and Maria Antonia Ferreira decided to bring back wine production.
The major change was a replanting programme designed to plant the best varietals in single plots as opposed to vineyard sites with as many as 40 different varietals. Over two thirds of the estate vineyards are situated on terraced vineyards with one row per terrace, on the slopes of the Corgo river valley, a tributary of the Douro. During vinification, a small percentage of the grapes for the red wine are foot trodden in traditional lagares for greater extraction but rest is gravity fed directly in to fermentation tanks. The resulting wines are rich, powerful and mineral while the 10 Year Old Tawny Port is, by contrast, a very delicate, elegant glassful.