Vito, Xito and Luisa Olazabal represent the 5th and 6th generations to oversee the Douro’s most iconic estate. The huge meander in the Douro in which the estate sits provides the name for Vale Meao’s ‘second’ wine, but forget any ideas of compromise here: it’s a triumph in its own right.
The 300 hectare property was purchased in 1877 unplanted, by the famous Dona Antonia Adelaide Ferreira - whose descendants now run Vale Meao - and was transformed by hundreds of workers into the 'chateau' and vineyards by 1894.
Making some of Portugal's most outstanding reds is all very well but the family realised that when they wanted to drink white wine, they were having to buy from elsewhere; so they decided to make their own!
Years of experience gave Xito the keen eye to spot some great vineyards of Arinto and Rabigato, just up the road from his Quinta. In the Meandro Branco we have unexpected freshness and class, for a lowland Douro white.
The blend proportions change a little each year, with Rabigato being just dominant. The Rabigato brings a little body, riper fruits and floral elegance to Arinto’s fresh acidity, citrus and green fruit. Schist soils and a touch of lees bring textural minerality.
This drinks a little bit like really good Chablis but with a bit more zing. Delicious with fine fish dishes: dover sole grilled with a butter sauce...mmm