Taylor's Port Winery

Taylor's Port Winery, Port - Portugal

Taylor's is one of the only independent family owned wineries in Port Country, and controls the Fladgate Partnership which also encompasses the other prestigious Port Wine Houses of Fonseca, Croft and Delaforce. Now well into its fourth century, Taylor's is one of the very oldest of the Port houses. Alone among the original British Port firms it has remained totally independent throughout its history. Family owned and managed since its foundation, Taylor's is run today by descendents of the Yeatman's and Fladgate's, both families have been partners in the firm since the 1830's. The family involvement continues today with Alistair Robertson and Huyshe Bower both Yeatman descendents. Alistair's daughter, Natasha, and her husband, Adrian Bridge, Taylor's Managing Director, represent the current generation.

Job Bearsley is considered to be the founding father of the firm. An Englishman, he was trading Salt Cod (bacalhau) in the north of Portugal in the 1670s. But the first record of Bearsley as a port shipper -and a partner in the firm which became Taylor's -dates from 1692. In 1727 Job Bearsley's son Peter became the first British trader to venture into the wild, mountainous country upriver in search of the best wine. In 1744 his brother; Bartholomew, became the first Englishman to purchase an estate in the Douro (Lugar das Lages) where Taylor's have made wine every year since 1744, apart from a short break when it was used as a field hospital for Wellington's troops. In 1816 Joseph Taylor became a partner. By 1826, ten years after he first joined the firm, Taylor was running under its sole name and steering it through adventures time. In 1836 John Fladgate, a London wine merchant, became also a partner and two years later a new partnership was arranged between Fladgate and Morgan Yeatman and in 1844 the firm became Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman, the name it bears today.

Throughout history Taylor's has been a pioneer. In the 1920's it was Dick Yeatman who introduced the first varietal plantings at Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior. In 1934 Dick Yeatman created the first Dry White Port wine, Taylor's Chip Dry, as an aperitif to refresh them after a long hot day working in the vineyards. Taylor's was the first to commercialize a Single Quinta (Estate) Vintage with their 1958 Quinta de Vargellas. Taylor's have also pioneered the commercial market for their Aged Tawny ports and were one of the first shippers to offer a 10 & 20 year old. In the late 1960's Alistair Robertson responded to the needs of the Port wine consumer to produce Late Bottled Vintage (or LBV) in 1970. At a time when the consumer was looking for a Vintage style port that was ready to drink and did not require decanting, LBV met all these criteria.

With a reduced population in the Douro region it is becoming increasingly more difficult for vineyards to find pickers and treaders for the harvest. Although the traditional method of treading the grapes in the lagar produces the finest Vintage ports, Taylor's has been developing mechanical methods to extend the benefits of foot treading to wines of all levels, since the early 1990's. In 1995 Taylor's began an extensive Research & Development program, at Quinta de Vargellas, with a team of winemakers, technicians and engineers. Using piston technology in specially designed temperature controlled vats and with proportions similar to those of the lagar, Taylor's have now built the most advanced winery in Portugal at Quinta da Nogueira. The 'Port-Toes', as they are known, are able to closely replicate foot treading and are producing high quality port wines

Wines Produced

Taylor's Chip Dry Taylor's are pioneers of this exciting style, having introduced it in 1934. It is made in exactly the same way as conventional port, but using white grapes rather than red. As the name suggests, it has a drier, fruity taste.
Taylor's First Estate Reserve Port NV Vintage character blend, made at the very first property purchased by the company, Lugar das Lages, in 1744. Rich, fruity and elegant, it is aged for four years in cask and is ready for drinking immediately.
Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage Blended from wines of a single year, LBV ages from four to six years in cask and is ready to drink when bottled. It has a concentrated fruity flavor and firm, full-bodied style
Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny Port NV Elegant and smooth, combining delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit, it is bottled for immediate drinking. Excellent with soft cheeses such as brie; and a superb dessert wine.
Taylor's Vintage Port Taylor's Vintage Ports will last for fifty years or more. They are renowned for their massive structure, concentration of flavor and distinctive 'masculine' style. Bottled after two years in wood, they continue to mature for decades in the cellar.
Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas This is a 'single quinta' wine, made in exactly the same way as Taylor's Vintage Port, but using only the grapes from this individual property, trodden on the estate. Only small quantities are made, and only in very good years.
Taylor's Quinta de Terra Feita The other Single Quinta wine, tiny amounts of Terra Feira have been bottled since the beginning of the century as single quinta vintage ports when a general Taylor's declaration is not made. While normally kept for family consumption, small parcels of this single estate vintage are released onto the market.

Winery Facts & Figures

DOC: Port
Founded: 1692
Owner: Taylor Fladgate & Yeatman Vinhos, Sa
Chairman: Alistair Robertson
Winemaker: David Fonseca Guimaraens (David is the 6th generation Guimaraens to be involved in the Port Wine Industry).
Vineyards: Quinta de Vargellas: Total area (ha) 155 / Grade A, Quinta Terra Feita: Total area (ha) 110 / Grade A, Quinta do Junco: Total area (ha) 82 / Grade A
Area under Vine: The group owns over 290 hectares of A-classified vineyard.
Age of Vines: up to 100 years
Grape Varietals: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca ,Tinta Roriz ,Touriga Francesa, and Tinto Cao and up to 30 other permitted Port Grape varietals.

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