History

Few details are known about the origins of Quinta da Boavista, but research carried out by historian and professor Gaspar Martins Pereira show that at the time of the first Douro Demarcation, vines on what is currently Boavista’s territory were referred to as producers of “fine Feitoria-quality wines”, considered the best Ports produced in the Douro and destined exclusively for export.

While it is true that, during the Pombaline era, this area of the Cima Corgo was somehow disdained by the powerful minister, i tis also the case that very soon afterwards, this became one of the most sought-after zones of production by the English shippers due to the excellence of the wines produced here.

In the 19th Century we find references to the sale in England of wines such as “Vintage Boavista 1866”, which, according to the Mr. Martins Pereira, “says quite a lot about the quality of the wines of that quinta.” Also documented, of course, is the presence of Boavista on the famous maps created by Forrester - Mappa do Paiz Vinhateiro do Alto Douro, dated 1843, and Douro Portuguez e Paiz Adjacente, from 1848.

We know that Forrester, a towering figure of Douro and Port wine history, maintained a close relationship with both Boavista and its then-owners, with strong indications that he leased the property or bought its agricultural production. Local tradition has it that he was responsible for the treatment and replantation of Boavista’s vines in the 1850s during a surge in Oidium, and the main house on the estate is still known today as “The Baron’s House”.

Following Forrester’s death, Quinta da Boavista was purchased form the Baron of Viamonte, in 1866, by Forrester’s heirs – William Offley Forrester and Frank Woodhouse Forrester, who joined forces with their uncle Francis Cramp, transforming the estate rapidly into Offley’s strategic headquarters in the Cima Corgo and creating one of the best-known Port Wine brands that still exists today. Since the 1860s and, above all, following the devastation provoked by Phylloxera in the last quarter of the 19th Century, Quinta da Boavista benefitted from significant improvements to its infrastructure.

It was in that period that two neighbouring properties were annexed to Boavista, its nucleus of houses and warehouses were rebuilt and – most visual today – its towering stone terraces – home to new, post-phylloxera plantings, were consructed.

During the 20th Century, the estate passed through the hands of various owners until Sogrape Vinhos acquired the property in 1995. Sogrape maintained ownership until 2013 when Boavista was sold to presente owners, Lima Smith Lda.
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