Symington family announce the release of Capela do Vesúvio 2022 Vintage Port

Symington Family Estates - 2024-04-17

Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port is an exceptional expression of a few special vineyards at the Symington family’s magnificent Quinta do Vesúvio property. Made by the traditional method of foot-treading in granite lagares in tiny quantities and only in years when these vines deliver extraordinary quality, this Vintage Port has a distinct identity created by three unique micro-terroirs within the estate. The 2022 vintage is only the fifth time that the family have made this wine, following the 2007, 2011, 2016 and 2017.

Such was the quality from the Douro Superior sub-region in 2022 that the family will also release 2022 Vintage Port from Quinta do Vesúvio and Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira – two outstanding estates on opposite sides of the river in the eastern Douro.

The 2022 growth cycle was one of the most challenging in the Douro, with the 3 months before the harvest being among the hottest and driest ever recorded. Pinhão in the heart of the Douro saw a 70% reduction in rainfall from November 2021 to August 2022, compared with the 30-year average. Portugal recorded the hottest July since 1931, with Pinhão registering the country’s highest ever temperature at 47°C.

While the grape bunches and berries were smaller than usual, the family’s Head Winemaker, Charles Symington, was astonished by how well the vines performed under such unprecedented conditions. The resilient indigenous Douro vines delivered concentrated wines with lifted aromas and remarkable purity of fruit.

Named after the estate’s beautiful chapel and neighbouring vineyard, Capela do Vesúvio is made from 100-year-old vines in this plot, which have been successively interplanted using original vine cuttings to preserve their unique characteristics. The second plot is called the Escola – or ‘school’ – vineyard, in the estate’s central valley which is well shaded and collects useful rainwater. The third component comes from the half-a-century old plantings of Touriga Franca in the Vale da Teja.

“At Quinta do Vesúvio there were three micro-terroirs within the estate that sung beautifully in 2022. These were the three plots of vineyard that contribute to the limited-edition Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port. We only make this wine when these vineyards produce the power, structure and refinement required to create a standalone Vintage Port that expresses the unique characteristics of these vines. I believe that 2022 delivered such quality and am thrilled to announce the release of the fifth vintage of Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port, together with two very exciting Vintage Ports from Quinta do Vesúvio and Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira.” – Charles Symington, Head Winemaker

Only 4,320 numbered 75cl bottles, 300 magnums, and 280 tappit hens will be produced of 2022 Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port – this represents just 1% of the total production at Quinta do Vesúvio in 2022.

Click here to see the Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port video.

The release of the 2022 Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port is especially exciting for the family, following the temporary closure of the estate’s foot-treading winery in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions. This was the first time since the winery was built in 1827 that no grapes were vinified here. To mark the return of Vesúvio Vintage Port, the 2022 label features a stunning illustration of the magnificent estate house and surrounding vineyards.


The Symington family’s assessment of the 2022 harvest was that various plots of vineyards within each of their principal estates produced small volumes of wine with excellent quality. They have chosen to combine the best performing components within each of their estates and bottle six Quinta Vintage Ports and do a rare bottling of Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port. 

The following three Vintage Ports will be released en primeur in 2024:

  • Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio 2022 Vintage Port
  • Quinta do Vesúvio 2022 Vintage Port
  • Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 2022 Vintage Port

The remaining four Quinta Vintage Ports will age in the Symington cellars for future release:

  • Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos 2022 Vintage Port
  • Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim 2022 Vintage Port
  • Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha 2022 Vintage Port
  • Cockburn’s Quinta dos Canais 2022 Vintage Port

All the 2022 Quinta Vintage Ports will be bottled in May and the three to be released will be available from mid-June. 

Text by Symington Family Estates · Published 2024-04-17
© Symington Family Estates

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