Quinta de Roriz
Quinta do Vesuvio
Cockburn’s Vintage Ports are known for their full body and characteristic floral aromas.
Cockburn's HistoryCockburn's History
Cockburn’s was founded in 1815 by the Scottish brothers Robert and John Cockburn. Originally wine merchants in Leith, Scotland, their Port house was founded with the objective of securing a supply of excellent wine at its source in Portugal. In the words of Robert Cockburn himself, “the quality of the wine – that is the first thing to be looked to”.
Cockburn’s pioneered vineyard development in the Upper Douro Valley, particulary in the remote Douro Superior subregion, which is Cockburn’s heartland to this day. Under John Henry Smithes, Cockburn’s was instrumental in recovering Touriga Nacional from almost certain extinction, a grape variety that is fundamental to Vintage Port. Cockburn’s earned great respect and became one of the greatest names in Port. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Cockburn’s Vintage Ports invariably commanded the highest prices. The extraordinary 1908 is a landamark Vintage Port.
Acquired in 1962 by a multinational, the emphasis shifted away from Vintage Port, but following the Symington family’s acquisition of Cockburn’s in 2010, the company focus was shifted back to one thing: the quality of the wine. The memorable retrospective Vintage Port tastings of 2012 and 2015 included Cockburn’s wines dating as far back as 1863 and provided key insights into the style that made Cockburn’s so admired in its heyday. Charles Symington, inspired by the great Cockburn’s Vintages of the past, made the outstanding 2011 debut Cockburn’s Vintage under Symington stewardship, which merited widespread international acclaim.
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Cockburn’s style is clearly Douro Superior, combining the elegance which is typical of its Vale Coelho vineyard and the intensity and power of Quinta dos Canais, Cockburn’s flagship property. Cockburn’s Vintages have extraordinary length and ‘grip’, a term coined by John Smithes, Cockburn’s brilliant winemaker.
Cockburn’s owns two important vineyards in the Upper Douro Valley. Both are in the rugged, remote Douro Superior, some 140 kilometres upriver from the city of Porto. The special hot and dry climatic conditions of this Douro sub-region give a unique style and quality to all of Cockburn’s Ports.
Quinta dos Canais is one of the major Douro estates, with a total area of 272 hectares, of which close to 100 are under vine. Just eight kilometres further upstream is the beautiful Quinta do Vale Coelho, a small 19-hectare property of which two-thirds are planted to vines.
Both Quintas are situated on the north bank of the River Douro and their vineyards are mostly south-facing, which is ideal for the grapes’ ripening. Together, Canais and Vale Coelho provide Cockburn’s with its finest grapes, used in the making of Cockburn’s famed Vintage Ports