Lavradores de Feitoria Meruge is a red wine bottled as a Douro DOC and is made by the very highly regarded Lavradores de Feitoria wine co-operative. Lavradores de Feitoria was founded in 1999 by a group of owners of some of the best vineyards and quintas in the Douro Valley, with a clear and strong commitment to excellence. Initially it was an association of 15 producers with 18 Quintas spread across the 3 sub-regions of the Douro Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior). Today there are 48 shareholders, 15 of which are producers, with 19 Quintas and some 600 hectares of vineyard.
The first vintage of Meruge was 2003 and, at that time, it was the brainchild of Dirk Niepoort. Dirk has since moved on but his original influence on the wine-making style for this wine (old vine grapes foot-trodden and fermented in lagares with their stems) remains. The result is poised, high toned Douro red, quite the opposite of the Douro blockbuster model. Not too disimilar to the vinification for Niepoort Charme. If you thought the Douro’s best wines were only ever a variation on the power game, this is quite the opposite, with a lofty and layered elegance. Douro for Pinot Noir fans. Meruge is a blend of old vine (over 45 year old) Tinta Roriz (80%) with a blend of other old vine grapes including Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. The wine is aged in new French oak barrels for 12 months.