Vineyards at Vale das Mestras

Egídio Santos2007

Museu do Douro

Museu do Douro
Peso da Régua, Portugal

Photograph of a patch composed of large areas of "mortório", with some plots of vines in pre-phylloxera terraces that sprawl along the slopes of the valley of Ribeira das Mestras to Ribeira da Caínha, covering the slopes of Santa Leocádia, a village that stands on a prominent location. This landscape, which was once a vineyard, is now occupied by undergrowth and wood of kermes oak, pines, chestnut trees, arbutus trees and also a considerable number of olive groves. Due to the favorable conditions of the valley some areas were used for the construction of apiary walls, a traditional production in the Douro region. The terraces follow the contour lines and the schist outcrops that punctuate the slope, resulting in a sinuous layout. The walls are low and retain several traces of "pilheiros" – openings formerly used for planting vines.They have an irregular construction which combines large blocks with stones of lamellar structure. It is worth noting the way the rainwater is conducted through a channel dug in the bluff, located at the boundaries of the plot. Along the banks of the stream persist plots of post-phylloxera vines alongside vegetable gardens. The patch is punctuated by shelters and houses of vernacular construction, some of them in ruins.


  • Title: Vineyards at Vale das Mestras
  • Creator: Egídio Santos
  • Creator Lifespan: 1970
  • Creator Nationality: Portuguese
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Porto, Portugal
  • Date Created: 2007
  • Physical Location: Santa Leocádia, Tabuaço, Viseu, Portugal
  • Original Language: Portuguese
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the Douro Museum
  • Subject Keywords: Schist, Douro, Vine heritage, Winescape, Stone walls, Terraces
  • Type: Digital photography
  • Rights: @Museu do Douro, Fotografia Egídio Santos, 2007
  • Medium: Digital photography

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