In addition to the exceptional intrinsic quality of their terroirs, these estates offer another advantage which is unusual in the region, namely the many single-variety plots instead of the traditional mixed plots that are more typical of the region. These plots, which are planted by grape variety, may be harvested individually when the grapes are perfect and the wine can be produced separately up to the final stage of blending. Grapes are still harvested in the Douro region by hand, using small carrying boxes. The choice of plot and grape variety may vary from one harvest to the next, according to specific conditions. Touriga Nacional, an early, low-yielding variety, provides the aromatic finesse of floral notes and silky tannins. Touriga Franca is the most fully-rounded variety and supplies body and tannic structure. Tinta Roriz (known as Tempranillo in Spain) is used with discretion to provide peppery notes, as is Tinto Cão, a slightly later developing variety. Certain years have also included a touch of Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Francisca.
Both of PRATS & SYMINGTON’s own estates have a high proportion of the Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca varietals: 23% and 17%, respectively for Quinta de Roriz and 36% and 23%, respectively, for Quinta da Perdiz. P & S considers them to be those varietals best suited to making outstanding Douro DOC wines. However, a small proportion of other varieties grown on our estates may occasionally be incorporated into the blends.