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Profile: Douro Family Estates - The history of a pioneering project in the Douro



For the first time in the history of the Alto Douro wine region, four estates have joined forces to create a company to market their wines, with a particular eye on the export market. It is called Douro Family Estates (DFE) and is an “association” of small family producers of estate bottled wines consisting of Quinta dos Poços, Quinta do Soque, Quinta das Bajancas and Brites Aguiar. The main reasons for setting up the company, which is owned equally by the four producers, are to boost the installed winemaking capacity of the four estates and to overcome one of the main obstacles experienced by companies in the winemaking sector in Portugal: the lack of critical mass for export markets.


The plan for the future is for each producer to retain an own brand with high added value, while combining forces under a common brand, DFE, with three variants: Classic, Premium and Signature. The idea is to make wines that represent good value for money.
Together, the group has 92 hectares under vines. The four estates have very varied aspects and soils, as well as being situated in very different parts of the Douro region: Soque, Bajancas and Brites Aguiar are situated in the Cima Corgo sub-region, while Poços is situated in the Baixo Corgo sub-region. This diversity, allied to the existence of a large number of regional grape varieties, is an important advantage because it makes it possible to select the best grapes from the various estates depending on the climatic conditions in a particular year.
In 2010, the first year of marketing, the quantity of wine available is 55,000 bottles divided between the various DFE white and red brands. The target is to increase that figure to 200,000 bottles in three years, and in time to a maximum of 500,000 bottles.



The Douro Family Estates project, which arose from the maturation of ideas and the combination of forces and affinities between the four partners, came into formal existence in April 2009, although the first seeds were sown back in 2004. The four estates share a common enology team headed by António Rosas and Pedro Sequeira, who felt the need for a united approach from the outset and became the main driving force behind the entire Douro Family Estates project.

DOURO FAMILY ESTATES

Shareholders: Sociedade Agrícola Quinta do Soque (António Carlos Aguiar Vicente), Brites Aguiar Lda (António Domingos Brites Aguiar), António Alfredo Lamas (Quinta das Bajancas) and Sociedade Agrícola José Mesquita Guimarães (Maria Luísa Mesquita Guimarães).
Enology Team: 2PR, António Rosas and Pedro Sequeira



Ana Pereira
Export Manager
TM: 00351 932 196 096
Email: ana(at)dourofamilyestates.co.pt



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