Port 1887 Burmester & Co J. W.
Late Bottled Vintage
Provenance: Graves, 10/30/1999
The early 1800s was a watershed era for the vintners of Portugal’s Douro Valley, On one hand, the grape harvest of 1820, after fermenting and aging for four years, presented connoisseurs with a wine of remarkable sweetness, with “plenty of crust and plenty of color…and a well-stained cork,” according to T.G. Shaw, who recorded his views in Wine, the Vine, and the Cellar (1863), The remarkable vintage established Portuguese wine as a favorite among the British.
Burmester & Co J. W.
In 1730, Henry Burmester and John Nash established in London the company Burmester & Nash, dedicated to the corn trade. In 1750 having acquired warehouses in Vila Nova de Gaia they started exporting Port Wine to the British Isles as well as to other European countries. The original shareholders were English even if the name Burmester comes from ‘Burgmeester’, an important function performed by some members of the family in Mölln, a little town in Northern Germany situated between Lubeck and Lauenburg.
The name H. Burmester & Son was established 1806. This year Hermann van Zeller become a partner and the firm’s name became H. Burmester & H. van Zeller, but van Zeller leave the company after 3 years it was renamed H. Burmester & Co. Henry Burmester died in 1822 and the firm was taken over by Soltau. In 1834 Johann Wilhelm Burmester arrived to Oporto 24 years old and when the firm should be sold to the highest bidder in 1856 Johann Wilhelm Burmester make an agreement with the different heirs, so good, that in in 1861 he took over the firm and the final name J.W. Burmester was established. J. W. drowns in Douro 1885 and his son Gustav Adolph took over as he already was a partner. During the First Wold War due to their German heritage they had to leave Portugal within 24 hours and German properties should be confiscated. Gustav Adolph manages to transfer the family’s wine to a good Portuguese friend at least on paper before he had to flee. The friendship lasted and when he returned in 1920 he had his wine re-transferred to his company.
The company was always ruled by the Burmester family, having been taken over by the Amorim family by the end of 1999. The Amorim family started its activity in 1870, with the manufacture and sale of Port Wine corks but sold Burmester already in 2005 to Sogevinus.