Special Ruby, Bridge
Provenance: VAR, 10/17/1998
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.
Kopke is the oldest Port house still in existence.
It was founded in 1638 by Cristiano Kopke and has ever since been connected with the shipping of Wine and Port. Deeply entrenched in the Portuguese Society, the House of Kopke is the oldest Company of foreign origin operating in Portugal. The vintage from Kopke during the 19th centery was mostly single quinta from Quinta de Roriz. It was in the Kopke family to late 19th century when a collaboration was formed with the British Bohane family who took over the company in 1870 (Mason Catley & Co) and Joaquim Augusto Kopkes dead in 1895 meant the end of the Kopke family in the port house. The Bohane owns it to 1953 when the Barros family took over.
A violent fire that broke out in 1882 destroyed a great part of its heritage and therefore it is difficult to make a thorough historical reconstitution. The Barros Family, the owner since 1953, has been responsible for rebuilding the reputation and prestige.
Quinta de St. Luiz was acquired of Kopke 1922- is the cradle of a famous lineage of Kopke Port Wines,it is the pioneer and is responsible for the development of modern planting techniques. The neighbouring quinta was bought in and included in St. Luiz such as Quinta da Lobata in 1974, Quinta da Galeira in 1987, Quinta da Alegria in 1982 and Quinta da Mesquita in 1972. After Sogevinus took over the house in 2006 Quinta da Galeira is made as a Single Quinta Vintage Port for Barros