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The Port Wine House is located in the municipality of Pinhão (Alijó district) in the centre of the Douro port wine region in northern Portugal. It was founded in 1715 by a Portuguese family. After the destruction of many vineyards by phylloxera, the estate was acquired by Antonio José da Silva in 1894. Later it was owned by the Dutch van Zeller family, who ran it for four generations. In 1993, the estate was bought by the French group AXA, which invested heavily in new cellar equipment. Among other things, electronically controlled robot-like lagares were installed, where the grapes are mechanically stomped as if by feet.
Only the wines produced at the Quinta are marketed under "Quinta de Noval", all others under "Noval". The absolute flagship of the house is the "Nacional Vintage Port", which is produced from grapes of ancient, ungrafted vines of a tiny vineyard that have been spared from phylloxera. The wine is only produced in very good years in the small quantity of 200 to 300 cases (2,400 to 3,600 bottles), in "normal" years it is marketed as "Vintage Port". The 1997 vintage of this legendary Port received 100 points from the US wine critic Robert Parker. The two vintages 1963 and 1994 were rated 99+ points by him. Another premium wine is the Single Quinta Vintage "Silval".