Quinta Vale D. Maria is a magical family estate, planted with a myriad of traditional grape varieties that grow on steep terraced slopes at the heart of the Douro Valley,one of the first and most prominent demarcated wine regions in the world (the Douro was established as a protected region in 1756).
The Douro Valley is the birthplace of Port, a natural fortified wine produced exclusively with grapes from this region.
For decades, Quinta Vale Dona Maria has been producing port wine using traditional methods. In September, the grapes are harvested and taken to the winery where they are arranged in “lagares” (large granite wine presses) and foot-trodden by local men and women. After the vinification process, the wine is stored for years or decades in wooden casks, where it ages and develops. To identify each vintage, the year is painted by hand on the cask, using an ancient stencilling technique, where white paint is applied to a cutout template, leaving the number inscribed on the wood.
Due to the wine’s relationship with the wood where it aged for about 50 years, the 1969 harvest proved to be such an exceptional vintage, that we were challenged to create an exclusive package for this port wine.
We chose an egg-shaped bottle, a symbol of origin and transformation, to evoke the transformative temple where the wine rested. We then placed this fragile egg in a wooden case decorated with a replica of the stencil template used to mark the year 1969.
The materials we chose for this package; fine wood, copper and crystal, reflect the pride and quality of its contents.