David Eley of A Good Nose, initially launched his map project at The Yeatman Hotel and then at Essência do Vinho earlier this month, spotlighting his recently completed hand-painted masterpiece of the Douro. David and I have been communicating since before his fine website came into being some years back. However we did not meet until the early days of this project, in May 2009 at the Museo do Douro in Régua, where he had set up a studio in close proximity to the Baron JJ Forester exhibit. In the near future, David will provide FTLOP’s Port enthusiast’s access to purchase the various versions of his map project. In the meantime, here’s more information:
It is over 160 years since the groundbreaking publication of Baron Joseph James Forrester’s acclaimed and highly regarded Douro Maps. This original documentation and classification in the mid nineteenth century of the best Douro Port wine Quintas, was pioneering and vitally important, but as with the controversial 1855 classification in Bordeaux, much has since changed and the modern Douro is a very different place. Many once great Quintas have vanished, leaving barely a trace, while others have gained legendary status. To mark this fresh and exciting era in Portuguese winemaking, British artist David Eley has created a new fully illustrated watercolour map to define the modern Douro of the 21st century, a lively and vibrant depiction of the leading Port wine Quintas and major single Quinta table wine estates - something which would undoubtedly have found favour with the noble Baron!
This original painting measures over 3 metres long x 1 metre deep unframed and carries between 120 and 130 illustrations. From this single painting, two separate archival quality museum editions have been published: the first of these two special editions, hereafter referred to as the ‘Quinta Edition’, replicates the size and finish of the original painting and is primarily intended for business and corporate use by participating Quintas, tasting rooms, Port lodges, wine merchants, hotels and commercial premises.
The second signed limited edition, titled the ‘Collector’s Edition’ measures one half of the full size original, it too is museum quality, printed with the finest archival pigment inks on heavy cotton rag paper and sold within a handsome and highly portable tube for the convenience of Douro visitors. In addition to the two principal archival editions, an ‘open’ low cost lithographic edition on acid free paper will be offered for general indefinite sale to the wider public.
Quite separately, a modestly proportioned soft-back Douro Book will also be published, containing David Eley’s edited wine texts accompanied by a practical fold-out map within the back cover, primarily aimed at the tourist market and completing a suite of four published elements, work by David Eley began in January 2009.
As mentioned, David will be making the three versions of his map project available for sale and they will be offered here in the near future. In the meantime, please do check out David’s website which features some brilliant writing about the food, wine and personalities of Port and the Douro.