The french oak casks.

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 quality of the oak it´s also very important – french oak is considered the best one, but the majority of the barrels are made with portuguese oak or chestnut, but for our Port maturation we only use seasoned french oak.

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...

Port... a wine with over 300 years of history...

In order to preserve the quality of the Port wine, quality control has became the responsibility of the Institute of Port Wine (IVDP) since 1934.
The wines were no longer exported from the Douro valley and would be subject to tight control on the shores of Vila Nova de Gaia, which was an obligatory passage point.

An IVDP inspector checking C. da Silva Port wines at Vila Nova de Gaia

All wines destined to the exporter´s warehouses, were inspected after leaving the "Rabelo" boat, (a traditional skiff used for the Port wine transportation).

In 1942 was created the seal of approval, as part of each bottle.
IVDP´s lab was completely renovated in 1990 and in 1994 was certified by the Portuguese Institute of Quality. On average, annualy, 5000 samples are taken and about 130 000 analysis made. Analysis made ​​to acidity, ph, reducing sugars, density, color characteristics, sulfur dioxide...

DALVA Moscatel do Douro

DALVA moscatel from Douro...produced with a single grape varietal, the moscatel galego, picked 500m over the sea level in the upland of Alijó (the Douro valley) the result...floral aromas and an impressive richness in taste.

DALVA Moscatel do Douro

The blended average is about five years old, floral aromas...lychee, lavender, raisins, citrus... it is perfect for this summer season.
A very complex and refreshing fortified wine with 17% alc. by volume.
Specially when combined with appetizers and fruits / vanilla - based ice creams.
It should be consumed within a week.
Serving temperature 10º C to 12º C.
The advisable is to serve it at 10º C.

DALVA Brandy VSOP (Very Special Old Pale)

After the grapes are pressed, the juice is left to ferment for two or three weeks, the alcohol content should be about 7% to 8%.
Distillation takes place in an alembic, two distillations must be done, resulting in a distilled grape spirit, with a translucent color, of about 70% alcohol.
Dalva Brandy V.S.O.P. will be aged in oak for at least twenty five years (average) before it can be sold to the public. As the Brandy interacts with the oak barrel and the air, it evaporates (about 3% a year) losing alcohol and water.
Because the alcohol evaporates faster than water, it will reach to 40% alcohol by volume when released to the market.

Brandy categories:
  • VS Very Special, or ✯✯✯ (three stars) - the youngest brandy used in the blend is stored at least two years in cask.
  • VSOP Very Special Old Pale - the youngest brandy used in the blend is stored at least four years in cask, with a much older average.
  • XO Extra Old, the youngest brandy used in the blend is stored at least ten years in cask, the average should be older than twenty years.

C. da SILVA cellar

Our cellar... exceeding 10.000 square meters, around C. da Silva´s Mansion, whose roots go back to the middle of the XIX century.
Currently the mansion is used for the company headquarters, with a single and unique charisma in the Port wine trade.

Here we have about 3000 seasoned french oak pipes 538/550 liters, acquired from the Bordeaux ageing, of wich have their origin in the middle of the last century.
Nowadays only used for the finest Colheita Ports of the following years... 1934/1940/Golden White 1952/Golden White 1963/1966/1967/1968/1975/1977/1982/1985/1990/1991/1992/1995/1997/1999/2000...

Some of our very old vintage bottles...there are some 280.000 bottles of famous Vintage years in our cellar.
Of course that the ones in the picture belong to C. da Silva´s private collection, are being kept in a luxurious dungeon