The backbone of Fonseca Vintage Port is the wine drawn primarily from Fonsecas three quintas, all located in the Cima Corgo: Quinta de Santo António, Quinta do Cruzeiro, and Quinta do Panascal. All three properties are A-rated, and were purchased by the firm in the 1970s; the former two had been under contract to Fonseca Guimaraens in the early 1900s. The finest grapes from these quintas are blended with wines from other quintas long under contract to Fonseca to produce its classic vintage ports. The grapes are still trodden by foot in the stone lagares of Cruzeiro and Panascal. Fonseca vintage ports are renowned for their great richness, and, while powerful and mouthfilling, for their exquisite structure and femininity. In the context of each vintage, they combine the tannic dimension and grip which give great port its longevity, with the breeding, complexity and perfect balance that are Fonsecas hallmarks. The Winter and Spring of 1997 were warm and dry. The higher than normal temperatures in February and March brought on early bud burst and the berry set for all the vineyards was very good. From flowering up to September there were frequent rain showers which meant that the initial advance to the season was lost to a more gradual ripening period. The weather during the harvest was extremely hot and extra effort was made to prolong the fermentations. Yields however were down by around 30%. The high quality was evident in the wines from the start, with the intensity of the must, good integration of spirit and powerful attractive aromas.