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On the sinuous terraces of a natural amphitheatre perched high above the right bank of the Douro river, Quinta de Covela has - for at least five centuries now - straddled the rugged terrain where two of Portugal's best-known wine-producing regions now meet. Downstream, rugged granite marks the landscape of the Vinho Verde region. Upriver, the hot, slate-layered earth is what gives Port wine its heart and soul. With panoramic views over the river, the Covela estate covers 49 hectares, of which 18 are planted with vineyards that also mark the frontier between two typical villages of the lower Douro - São Tomé de Covelas and Santa Cruz do Douro, both recognized for their natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. In more recent times, the Covela estate belonged to Manoel de Oliveira, one of the most important European film directors of the second half of the 20th Century and an incredible spirit who worked until his death, with 106 years of age. The director, himself a Renaissance Man, enlarged and transformed Covela, that originally came to him as his wife's dowry, on several fronts: he built or rebuilt aqueducts for irrigation; massive stone walls; a series of houses and warehouses and ample stone sun-terraces for drying what was once the farm's main crop - corn.