Farm to Table is a term we hear alot regarding certain restaurants. But what does it mean? Essentially farm to table is harnessing the produce and livestock of locally grown farmers and ranchers; to put it simply, buying local. But Farm to Table doesn't necessarily have to be limited to just the restaurant industry. There are farmers all over the world, farmers who grow a variety of different crops and products from produce to peanuts. And of course, growing grapes to make wine is also farming. Some wineries and vineyards are bigger than others and some are owned by giant conglomerates and others are still literally Mom and Pop. This week we're going to highlight the mom-and-pop varietal and stick with a single producer from Portugal: Quinta do Crasto.
As we all know, Covid and the shutting down of the world hit alot of people really, really hard. Farmers and winegrowers were no different. Sure, the conglomerates with all of their financial backing weathered the storm ok, but other smaller folks weren't as lucky. Even being voted as #8 of The World's Best Vineyards by CNN Travel in 2020, the folks at Quinta do Crasto still had to struggle to survive.
In 1981, Leonor Roquette, daughter of Fernando Moreira d’Almeida, together with her husband Jorge Roquette, took over majority ownership as well as the management of the estate. With their sons, they began the process of renovating and extending the vineyards. They also began producing the Douro DOC wines that Quinta do Crasto is now famous for domestically and abroad (both the red and the white is on our tasting lineup). They are, thus, the fourth generation of the family to manage this emblematic estate that seduces all with the exquisite quality that it confers upon all of its products. In the early 1900s, Quinta do Crasto was purchased by Constantino de Almeida, the founder of the famous Constantino Port house. His granddaughter is Leonor.
Nestled on a privileged location in the Douro, Quinta do Crasto is one of the oldest winemaking estates in the region – the name ‘Crasto’ is derived from the Latin word ’castrum‘, which means ‘Roman fort’. The first known references to Quinta do Crasto can be traced back to 1615, long before the Douro became the world’s first Demarcated Wine Region in 1756.
While Portugal's Douro Valley may not be local for us here in Charleston, it's still important to us to support the good folks who toil laboriously out in the fields and then in the wineries to make some juice we all can enjoy. Prepare to be seduced. And for a good cause.
The Wine Shop Team