Fonseca

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History

The history of the firm of Fonseca Guimaraens lies in the late 1700s, in a company known as Fonseca & Monteiro, located in Oporto. The Fonseca family was of Brazilian origin and conducted its trade in wine, foodstuffs, olive oil and cloth primarily with Brazil in exchange for sugar cane, hemp and snuff from the colonies. The present firm, however, was not formally founded until 1822, when Manuel Pedro Guimaraens acquired control of the company through the purchase of the majority of the Fonseca holdings. In 1948, the difficulties of the war years led to a consolidation of ownership of Fonseca Guimaraens with Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman.

fonseca boat

Fonseca

From the legendary 1840, Fonseca's first Vintage Port release, to the superb declared vintages of the last decade, the house has produced a succession of highly acclaimed wines even in the most adverse moments of history. James Suckling, in his authoritative book on Vintage Port, put it as follows:  'The vintage Ports of Fonseca are perhaps the most consistently great of them all. Not only do they have a striking fleshiness and great richness when young, but they retain that youthfulness for decades.'

grapeyard

The firm's estates

This consistency derives not only from the continuity of family involvement, and the knowledge and skill passed down from one generation to the next but also a close link with the vineyard. The firm's three estates of Cruzeiro, Panascal and Santo António are the heart of the distinctive character of Fonseca's Vintage Ports. Fonseca's respect for the vineyard and the unique environment of the Douro Valley expresses itself in the firm's leadership in the field of sustainable and organic viticulture.  It was the first house to offer a Port made entirely from organically produced grapes.

bin 27 fonseca

Bin No. 27

However, for many wine enthusiasts around the world, Fonseca is best known as the producer of Bin No.27.  This little reserve Port launched four decades ago, is one of the most popular and successful Port blends.  Sharing the heritage of the great Fonseca Vintage ports, it displays the rich fruity character which defines the Fonseca house style.

vintage 1994 port

Enjoy

Perhaps more than any other Port house, Fonseca has built a loyal community of Port enthusiasts who value its individuality and the unique character of its wines.  These include connoisseurs, collectors, sommeliers, and restaurateurs as well as those who merely enjoy drinking its wonderfully rich and complex Ports.

Our Fonseca bottles

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