Fernando Nicolau de Almeida dreamed and a very special wine was born in the Douro in 1952, called Barca Velha. In 69 years, only 20 harvests were selected. It reached a mythical status among Portuguese wines, to the point that a single bottle cost more than 500 euros.
Of all the wines he created, that was his favorite. A dream come true at a time when Portugal, and the Douro region, was almost exclusively synonymous with Port wine. Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha, which was born to be drunk at the height of an old age that few table wines can reach, became immortal and, with it, Fernando Nicolau de Almeida.
This is the man who, in the mid-1950s, weaved a wine philosophy still replicated today. Who knew him says that the official dreamer of Ferreirinha was one of those lords of Porto with little pleasure in climbing to the Douro, as the journalist Ana Sofia Fonseca tells in the book Barca Velha – Stories of a wine. The warmth and inaccessibility of the wine region made him twist his nose and repeat an expression that at the time became popular:
“It is more difficult to go to Meão than to Luanda.” So few letters for such fame: it was in Meão that the first Barca Velha was born, coming directly from the historic harvest of 1952.