In 1877, Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, owner of the largest winemaking estate in the Douro, purchased 300 hectares of virgin land at auction from the Vila Nova de Foz Côa municipality. Her dream was to create a model vineyard from nothing, using for this the vast experience she had acquired throughout a lifetime as a Douro landowner. This ambitious project took eight years to complete, from 1887 to 1895. Sadly, this grand lady’s pleasure in her last and most significant enterprise was of short duration as she died in 1896.
Since then, the estate always remained in the hands of her descendants. In the 1970s, her great-great-great-grandson, Francisco Javier de Olazabal became responsible for its management and he began the long and laborious process of acquiring the shares that belonged to his kin and to other co-owners of the property.
In 1994, he and his children became the sole owners of the Quinta. Until then, the grapes from the estate were sold to A.A. Ferreira S.A., the company established by Dona Antónia’s descendants, where they formed the basis of some its finest wines.
This connection continued until 1998 when Francisco Javier de Olazabal resigned as Managing Director of A.A. Ferreira S.A. to dedicate himself, together with his oenologist son Francisco de Olazabal y Nicolau de Almeida, to producing, ageing and marketing the wines from the Quinta through a new company, F. Olazabal & Filhos Lda.
Today, Francisco, Luísa, and Jaime are part of the company’s management, each in their own role while sharing the same passion for wine. From one harvest to another, they respect tradition and keep their minds open to innovation. The entire Olazabal family brings enthusiasm to the company and contributes to the perpetuity of D. Antónia’s project to make Vale Meão a model Estate in its own time.
On November 15th let’s drink history in this special wine dinner at Barrica by YoursPorto.