A visit to Malvedos in 1895

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Here’s a shot of the Malvedos vineyard from the other side of the river, probably taken around 1895 when the major re-terracing work on the Quinta was still under way.   The Malvedos terraces, built at a time when the Douro was recovering from the phylloxera crisis and huge numbers of people had been forced to emigrate from the region, were considered some of the finest in the Douro.   Due to the local labour shortage, many original Douro terraces were built by migrant workers from Galicia known for their stoneworking expertise.   The winery was brand new in this photo.  The railway line was also fairly recent, linking Pinhao to Tua and making this part of the Douro very much more accessible.  

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The same contemporary shot shows some changes, notably to the Quinta House which was expanded in the 1930’s, and the winery which was adapted in 2000 to take the robotic lagares.    The magnificent  ‘Fort Arthur’ terraces immediately to the East of the house remain intact and have been replanted.   The river has come up about twenty feet since the Regua dam was built in the early 1970’s, drowning the notorious rocks and rapids and also the sandbank below the winery where barrels of Port were loaded on to the flat bottomed ‘barcos rabelos’ .

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