July 6, 2014

IVDP Library

By Andrew Barrow In Photographs, Visiting The Douro
The regulator and testing centre for all still and fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley is housed in a suitably majestic building in the heart of Oporto. The granite fronted building of the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto aka Douro & Port Wine Institute), that use to house a bank, proudly displays one of the original markers laid out in 1756 to set the regions boundary. To be honest its just a chunk of stone that doesn’t make for a terribly interesting photo. But upstairs – above the shop, the extensive tasting rooms, chemical labs and technical analysis labs – lies a rather grand room, the IVDP Library.

The library was created in 1933. It contains a “vast collection of technical, historical, economic, geographic ad ethnographic papers, books and documents on Port wine”. It also holds a collection of 1200 photos of the Douro, commissioned by the IVDP in 1933, by Domingos Alvâo (1872-1946). If only I had known! I would have loved to have seen a selection. Instead I made do with walking around the long table and taking a few photos…

Photograph: IVDP Library, Oporto

Photograph: IVDP Library, Oporto

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