Винный справочник
Casa Ferreirinha
When speaking about Port wine, you cannot ignore the influence that Dona Antonia Ferreira – or Ferreirinha – has had on the country’s eponymous product. An icon of Portuguese winemaking, had it not been for her influence, style, determination in the face of adversity and luminary vision, the face of Porto would have been very different today. Casa Ferreirinha is different from her other estates however, in that it produced top-quality table wine, rather than the Porto that her name has become synonymous with.
Going to grape lengths
Founded in the 18th century by Dona Antonia’s grandfather Bernardo, Casa Ferreirinha is one of the many original estates belonging to the Ferreiras of Régua. Bernardo however, did not have his granddaughter’s vision. After a short, ill-fated, marriage to her cousin, Ferreirinha was widowed at just age 33, and took to running her companies with vigour. She carried out extensive plantings in the Douro Valley, bit by bit improving the quality of her family’s Port wines. At the time of Ferreirinha’s death in 1896, she owned almost 30 Port wines estates, managing them almost single-handedly.

Casa Ferreirinha’s most famous product is undoubtedly the rare and iconic Barca Velha. Only 18 vintages of Barca Velha have been produced since its inauguration in 1952. Selected from gapes at various altitudes, the complex structured wine is aged for at least five years. Only after the requisite ageing will the winemakers decide whether the wine is good enough to be labelled as Barca, or whether it will be named Reserva Especial, the wine produced in non-vintage Barca years.
A new direction with a traditional vision
The estate was acquired in 1987 by the huge family-owned company Sogrape, who now count as many as 16 Portuguese wine brands in their portfolio (including Vinha Grande, Esteva, Papa Figos, Planalto, Callabriga, Reserva Especial and Quinta da Leda, are just some of the others). The scarcity and quality of Barca Velha is good news for wine investors. In mid-2019, the worldwide retail price is in the region of €500 a bottle for the exquisite 2008 vintage, with accelerated growth of 40% over 24-months and has not shown signs of slowing down. Much older vintages from the 1950s stretch well into the thousands (over €3,600 for 1954).