† = No longer exists
* = Known by a significantly different name today
? = Current circumstances unknown
To modern eyes, what is particularly striking about the map is the number of Quintas in the Baixo Corgo (today not associated with the production of quality Port wine) compared to the lack of Quintas out in the far Douro Superior, which was still barely navigable in the mid-19th Century. Indeed, Forrester’s map ends just after Quinta do Vesuvio, around 50 miles from the modern end of the demarcated zone. Interestingly, though, whilst many of those Quintas in the Cima Corgo and Baixo Corgo are now obscure, the names of those in the Douro Superior (e.g. Vesuvio, Canais, Vargellas) are all still associated with the highest quality wines.
Corrections and additions, especially for those quintas marked with a “?” are very welcome. Please contact Jacob at: email@Jacob-Head.com.
Forrester adds the following observations to his map:
“The whole Wine District is very unwholesome & thinly populated. According to the census concluded in March 1842, the number of Houses in the Wine District of the Alto Douro was 16193, being in the Province of Tras-os-Montés: 11427; in Beira Alta: 4163; in Beira Baixa: 603. In towns with the limits of the Company’s district, there were in Lamego: 1858; in Villa real: 1006; in S. João da Pesqueira: 593; in the remaining & smaller towns: 1897. (Total: 5354). The total number of Houses, therefore, in the Country comprised within this Map was: 21547.
“The soil about the Vines is turned and the grapes are trodden, entirely by Gallegos, of whom about 8000 are employed at each season: but they remain only during the period of their labour. The grapes are cut by women and children from the adjacent country, of whom great numbers find employment during the vintage. The only work done by the resident farmer is the pruning of the vines.
“The Vintage generally begins about the end of September and concludes about the 20th October. The new wines are brought down to Oporto chiefly in March and April. During July, August and September, the river is seldom navigable, owing to the drought & in December, January and February, the navigation is rendered difficult by the freshers which usually take place at that season. The extreme length of the Wine District is eight Leagues. The extreme breadth of the Wine District is three Leagues.”.
Typefaces are by Jos Buivenga.