The seven hills
Vesúvio is the only Douro property to be planted over seven hills and thirty-one valleys. On top of each hill is the ruin of an old house, used by the lookouts that used to be stationed there to guard the estate. The highest of these is called the Raio de Luz. The sturdy granite house and small plantation of trees testifies to its use as the primary lookout and guardhouse for the Quinta. The name, meaning ‘The ray of light’, comes from the fact that from here one could witness the first ray of light in the morning and the last in the evening, as you can see all the way to eastern and the western horizons.
It is only from here that you can fully appreciate the full 360º aspect of the Quinta’s vineyards. Vesúvio is unique in the Douro. The Quinta stands at an old strategic river crossing, located exactly half way between the two ancient castles of Numão and Lavandeira. Before the Douro was dammed, it was possible, sometimes, to wade across to the north bank.
Situated on the south bank of the River Douro, Vesúvio’s multiplicity of vineyards face predominantly north, although given the sheer size of the property it also has sections facing virtually every other cardinal point. The north facing aspect and substantial sections of vineyard planted at altitude combine to offer cooler conditions thus guarding against the intense summer heat. This is an important feature of Vesúvio’s terroir and is of particular significance in the production of its still wines (Douro DOC).