Quinta do Seixo (Sandeman)
Quinta do Seixo is the jewel in the crown of one of Portugal's great Port producers, Sandeman. A historic estate that brings cutting-edge technology to this historical region, its award-winning tourism programme offers the chance to delve into the history of Port, the incredible diversity of Port wine styles and the fabulous biodiversity of this entrancing valley.
The history of Sandeman dates back to 1790 when George Sandeman asked his father for a loan to set himself up as a wine merchant in London. From the start, George specialised in the two great fortified wines from Iberia, Port and Sherry. Quickly building a strong reputation for sourcing the best wines, George literally stamped his name on the industry by branding every cask with his initials, making a brand in the process. By 1835, the Sandeman company had become the biggest shipper of Port with a particular reputation for its aged Tawny Ports. Trademarking its name in 1877, the company was an early pioneer in wine advertising in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1928 this gave rise to what has become the iconic and defining image of the brand – 'The Don'. Created by Scottish artist George Massiot-Brown, it depicts a dramatic figure in silhouette, wearing a Spanish hat and Portuguese student's cape as a nod to the company's Iberian wine expertise. Vital to the company's success throughout its history has been access to the best possible grapes and wines. For its Port wines, this has always been Quinta do Seixo in the Douro Valley. Located in the heart of this stunning wine region, this historic estate contributes to some of the company's very best blends, as well as its own Vintage Port. In 2007, the estate opened a new winery. Perfectly integrated into the rolling hills its combination of cutting-edge technology and custom-built layout gives the winemakers every tool they need to produce the best quality wines. The grapes they use are all indigenous varieties, planted in 70 hectares around the property, either on modern landscape plots or in the centuries-old terraces.
There are many wonderful experiences for visitors to enjoy at Quinta do Seixo, which reveal the incredible mosaic of wine, history, terroir and biodiversity at the estate. Guests can choose from programmes that focus on the different styles of Port wines or premium Douro table wines, visit the vineyards and explore the biodiversity found there. There is also the option to enjoy a picnic in the vineyard or tuck into a seasonal and sustainable array of dishes prepared by chef Vasco Coelho Santos in the restaurant, with spectacular views of the vineyards and magical Douro Valley.