AXA Millésimes
Christian Seely (Managing Director), Antonio Agrellos (Technical Director)
Under Christian Seely management and after over ten years of investment and hard work, today Quinta do Noval is widely regarded as one of the greatest names in the Port Wine business.

The name of Quinta do Noval first appeared in the land registries in 1715. The property was owned for more than a century by the Rebello Valente family, who were given it by the Marquês do Pombal, Portugal's all-powerful Primeminister. In 1958 Quinta do Noval was the first house to launch a 'Late Bottled Vintage' Port, with its 1954 LBV. This implied the creation of a whole new category of Port wine which was at the heart of discussions in the region for many years. In May 1993 the Van Zeller family sold the company to AXA, one of the world's largest insurance groups. The deal included the 145 hectare estate, together with stocks and production facilities. Noval is now part of AXA Millésimes, a group which already includes a string of leading Bordeaux châteaux, such as Château Pichon-Longueville, Château Petit-Village and Château Suduiraut and also owns an estate in Hungary's Tokaj region, Disznókő.
In January 2001 Christian Seely was appointed Managing Director of AXA Millésimes with over all responsibility of all the AXA properties replacing the recently retired Jean-Michel Cazes.

Quinta do Noval owns 145 hectares of vines in the Simi Corgo region in the heart of Douro valley and the estate includes 2.5 hectares of vines from pre-phylloxora times. Since 1994, Quinta do Noval has replanted 100 hectares of the property with the noble grape varieties of the Douro, adapting plantation and pruning methods according to the needs of each parcel. Each plot has been planted with individual grape varieties suited to the terroir according to three principal criteria: altitude, exposition, and the type of planting required. Today the field blends, parcels with several mixed varieties, are progressively disappearing from the Douro Valley. Noval was a pioneer of this trend, and the first vineyard to replant and mechanise the old terraces on a large scale while retaining the magnificent stone walled terraces.

A new bottling line and warehouse was completed in 1997 in Alijo, near to Pinhão. This project made Quinta do Noval the first of the traditional Port shippers to centralise all its activities in the Douro Valley rather than in Vila Nova de Gaia near Porto.

The wines of Quinta do Noval, which share all the potency and complexity of the great wines of Porto and Douro, are distinctive for their finesse and delicacy. Since 1994, Quinta do Noval decided to declare the Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional only when truly exceptional. If the Vintage Nacional is in such great demand, it is partly because of the tiny quantities produced, only 200 to 250 cases each year of declaration. It represents only a small percentage of Quinta do Noval Vintage production (1,200 to 5,000 cases per year of declaration), itself about 10% of Quinta do Noval production in Vintage declaration years. The high price of the Vintage Nacional is a reflection of the quality and rarity of the world’s most highly prized Port.

"The name Quinta do Noval evokes for me above all a place. A magical place, an historic place. A piece of the earth capable of producing wines that are among the world’s greatest. The wines of Quinta do Noval express the greatness of this terroir, of this majestic landscape. They evoke also the centuries of history that have been necessary in order for these wonderful wines to exist." - Christian Seely, Managing Director