Dating from the 1500s, the ruins of the old, stone Casa de Covela, today composed of the facade of the original Renaissance manor house and the more recent chapel of St. Quiteria, bear witness to the centuries-old agricultural and cultural importance of the estate.
Some of the footpaths and cart-tracks that trace the estate's boundaries today are thought to date back to Roman times when the Douro divided the province of Lusitania on the south bank from Galizia on the north side.
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, with an incredible spirit - the film director produced movies 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.
At the end of the 1980s Quinta de Covela was acquired by businessman Nuno Araújo who invested heavily in the estate's vines and wines, and created the brand Covela. Over the next years, the wines gained a reputation nationally and internationally with their modern labels and distinct blends. Finally, in 2007, with the classification as a biodynamic producer, Covela cemented its place among the vanguard of winemakers in Portugal.
In addition to the estate's main house and winery, redesigned and extended by the director in the 1950s, Covela today also has three contemporary villas whose sobre, geometric lines are the work of José Paulo dos Santos, one of Portugal's most admired contemporary architects. With their stylish but comfortable interiors, the villas offer sensational views over the vineyards and the Douro valley.