DALVA Brandy V.S.O.P.

During decades the DALVA Brandy V.S.O.P. has been a symbol of a tremendous quality, mostly recognized by the domestic market for its unbeatable relationship of quality/price.

This V.S.O.P. (Very special old pale) is a Brandy that has been ageing in seasoned oak barrels, the same ones that were used for the Port ageing.

After one year without being commercialized, we now re-launch it to the market, the same quality altough with a rebranding, that makes it much more appellative and classy.

DALVA Over 40 Years Old Dry White

Dalva 40 years old dry white, is the pioneer in the presentation of an old blended white Port wine, with a lower sugar content (dry white).
Amber bright and deep color, unctuous, with a beautiful fresh acidity that gives persistence and elegance to the aftertaste. 
An aperitif white Port, could be paired with a foie gras, but, thanks to the long aging in old french oak casks, it may be served as a digestive Port, or with a dessert (ex. almond tart).

Diplôme Dry Gin

At a stage when the Gin has gain great prominence, we present you an excellent choice :

The Diplôme Dry... it uses the most traditional methods for the production of a Dry Gin.

It is made from a rigorous selection of the best natural plants such as juniper.

After macerating in pure alcohol, the flavors are slowly distilled into a small "Pot Still", which gives the Dry Gin Diplôme a unique rich flavor and complexity, of great freshness and still manages to be exceptionally smooth.

The recipe of Diplôme Dry Gin, dates from 1945 during the second world war, and is one of the oldests in France. During the British occupation of allies in the region of Dijon, and in order to arrange a way of still having their favorite drink, the soldiers, taking advantage of the botanical richness of the region, began producing a gin in a small distillery.

After the war, this recipe lay forgotten, until nowadays, when the current " master distiller " of Gin Diplôme has recovered and used it without changing anything from very old times.

Diplôme Dry Gin is bottled with 44 % by volume, to achieve better harmony among its aromas and its luxuriance.

On the nose, the Diplôme Dry Gin, has a wonderful bouquet of cherry, clove and delicate expression of juniper seeds and coriander .

Each sip reveals a complex and fragrant flavor with layers of grapefruit, slightly spicy, nutty oils and a delicious infusion with some hints of lavender.

It presents a velvety structure, rich on exotic spices, dark chocolate, which frees the way for an excellent long finish .

The Gin Diplôme, is undoubtedly a jewel for any connoisseur of Gin !
Available at El Corte Ingles and Garrafeira Nacional.

The preparation of Gin Tonic is perfect when adding a grapefruit peel, boosting the fresh flavor of this wonderful Gin.

Logistics and storage center

Gran Cruz group, which sells annually, 25 million bottles of Port, Madeira and Douro wine in more than 50 countries, is now investing 14 million euros in the Douro Valley . Six million were invested in a new vinification center in Alijó, although not yet formally opened, was already operating in the latest harvest. Still under construction another project, a logistics center storage, also in Alijó, which will be ready in June 2014 and representing an investment of eight million euros.

The new winery has a capacity of vinification of about nine thousand pipes, from which six thousand of port wine . This corresponds to only 20 % of the annual needs of the group . The group doesn´t own any vineyards - the Martiniquaise group, owner of Grand Cruz , has sold many years ago the only estate owned the Douro - the average business purchases of Gran Cruz are between 30,000 to 32,000 barrels.
Jorge Dias, Managing Director of Gran Cruz group
We produce in our own wineries and leased about 50 % of it - purchasing grapes from 3,600 winemakers - and the remaining 50 % is acquired on wine cellars and other producers in the region," explained Jorge Dias, the Managing director of Gran Cruz.
The group consists of seven companies - the Grand Cruz, the biggest export company of port wine worldwide with 10 million bottles annually, the Companhia União of Port Wine and Madeira, C. da Silva and Gran Cruz Turismo at Vila Nova de Gaia; Vale S. Martinho, in the Douro valley, Justinos and Henriques & Henriques, Madeira wine - and has a consolidated annual turnover of 70 million euros. The Madeira wine corresponds to 28 million bottles sold annually."

Devotion and passion

Usually the young Port wines are kept in Quinta dos Avidagos, our vinification center (located in Alvações do Corgo, close to Régua - the Douro valley) for their first winter before being brought down the Douro river, where the lower temperatures and higher humidity is better for the Port´s maturation.

In our Cellars with 10,000 square meters, the Port matures in very old seasoned oak casks called pipas (pipes).
During this amazing aging process it will be tasted regularly by our winemakers or oenologues, to assess its quality.

Our Ports will gradually mellow in an oxidative process "angels share", with this process (Tawny Port) we are losing about 2% to 3% of Port annualy, achieving a nutty and amber hue and an incredible taste based in dry fruits shell, toffee, cigar box, coffee, stewed figs, bitter chocolate hints... softness and an elegant delayed after taste.

Since 1862 that C. da Silva, a traditional Port wine House, has been driven by the ambition of presenting the higher quality, namely for the "Colheita" and Aged Tawnies.

Devotion and passion a full time commitment

The Aged Tawny matures in oak for long and variable periods of time, in which the age indicated on the label corresponds to the approximate average of several Colheita Port wines in the blend.
Highlighting its long aging in seasoned oak, the Tawny with thirty or over fourty years old will present a golden color with greenish tints, evolving, reaching a bouquet which brings out the very complex aroma.

Depending on the desire to preserve Port´s longevity in the bottle, or for immediate consumption, it is very important to know the temperature range, bottling date and recommended storage period after opening.

Above all, you should not feel shy and do it relaxed when it comes the time to enjoy the extraordinary range of DALVA´s Port wines.

Oak barrels how crucial are they ?

Traditionally, fortified wines are aged in oak barrels, which are generally seasoned.
The influence of the barrel can be seen as: the origin of the wood and the techniques used for fabrication of the barrel, such as duration and method of drying the wood after cutting, burning intensity, during the assembly and cleaning the barrel before use. The size of the barrel also affects the aging, according to the permeability and more contact with the wood due to the smaller size.

 Aging of old barrel aged Ports in oak barrels, requires a very slow and long process.
The oxygen, which penetrates through the pores of the wood, participates in oxidation reactions, interfering with the aroma and taste of the Port.

The oxidation percentage may vary from 2 % (if the Port is aged at the Cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia) to 6 % per year (if the Port is aged at the Douro Valley, by the smaller and independent producers), depending on the conditions of temperature and humidity of the local.
The alcohol and water do not evaporate at the same rate due to the different degree of volatility. In a humid environment, the alcohol evaporates more easily. In dry enviroments, water evaporates in a higher quantity. A place of more humid aging usually is favorable for obtaining refined Ports.

The strong aroma of alcohol will change to a more subtle aromas with notes of wood, especially vanilla and finally getting a nice complexity.

The quality of the oak it´s also very important – french oak is considered the best one, but the Port barrels can still be made of portuguese  american and hungarian oak or chestnut, but for our Port maturation we only use seasoned french oak, and recently hungarian.

 To make  a first quality barrel you need to wait one century for the tree to grow and 3 years more to smoke and dried it, it´s the reason that normally the flavor of caramel is easy to pick in a tawny ( small amounts of sugar in the oaks cells ), normally when we are thinking about buying a 30y old tawny, a Over 40y old tawny or even a old Colheita ( single year tawny ) and we consider the price expensive, it´s always very important, to keep in mind some of the highest quality factors...
The emblematic coopers room at C. da Silva´s cellar.
Nowadays a slice of C. da Silva´s history...where we keep the old staves, the cooper´s tools, the fire place used to smoke and reduce the thickness of the french oak casks...

C. da Silva´s coopers room

From the thickness of the wood to the braces that mould the staves, one of the secrets of our wines lays in the barrels that store the Port wine, handcrafted by wise cooper masters.

Toasting the french oak casks

The fortification planning

Due to the massive success of Port wine in the first half of the 18th century, that led lots of grape growers out of the Douro region, to use their grapes for Port Wine production changing its quality and because of  the difficulty in territorial planning, in 1756 the Prime Minister “Marques de Pombal” restricted the Douro Valley region with 335 milestones, distributed along 250.000 hec.

Making it the oldest defined and protected wine region in the world. Nowadays in the Douro Valley we have 45700 hect cultivated, from wich 33000 hect are suitable for Port Wine and 39100 grape growers.

In 1932 the Casa do Douro, an Association of vintners, they had the mission of registering all the planted plots in the Douro.
In 1948, a very important person, an Agronomist, mr. Moreira da Fonseca, used the info collected during decades as well as the data of the quantity and quality of the different sub regions.
He has created a classification method, based in three major factors: soil; weather conditions and type of plantation.

Each vine/hectare gets points based in:

Soil: schistous soil; quantity of shale; slope gradient; yield;
Weather conditions: exposure; altitude; shelter; location; pre-marked localities;
Type of plantation:  grape varietals; type of planting; age of the vines;

  • A –  over 1200 points
  • B –  from 1001 to 1200
  • C –  from 801 to 1000
  • D –  from 601 to 800
  • E –  from 401 to 600
  • F –  from 201 to 400
  • G – from 1 to 200
  • H – from  -200 to 0
  • I – from  -400 to -201
The Instituto dos Vinhos do Porto e do Douro, has the annual task of presenting the maximum of Port Wine to produce, according to the variation of the market, sales and Wine reserves, for instance in 2011 was 85000 barrels (85000 x 550 liters) the same as 46.750.000 liters.

The quantity of must for fortification per hectare, in 2010:

  • A – 2.043 liters
  • B – 2.010 liters
  • C – 1.859 liters
  • D – 1.818 liters
  • E – 1.573 liters
  • F – 684 liters
  • G – 0
  • H – 0
  • I  – 0
The Moreira da Fonseca method is a very important contribute, once that each Port and Douro Wine producer knows how many liters may produce per hectare, according to the Instituto dos Vinhos do Porto e do Douro.