Profile of Cockburn Port

Cockburn’s is one of the classic Port Houses, established in 1815 in the beautiful Douro Valley Region. The Port Wine region was originally demarcated in 1756, predating the Bordeaux classification by almost 100 years.

Robert Cockburn first came to Portugal to fight in the Peninsular campaigns under Wellington. He was the brother of a very well-known Scottish law lord. When he returned to Porto after the campaigns, he was inspired to create his own Port firm, which today is known as Cockburn Smithes. The Cockburns had a military tradition and many members of the family were in the British Navy, including Captain Dunlop who after marrying Miss Cockburn, went back to active duty and fought in the Crimean War. The Smithes joined the company in the 1850s and their descendants are still important in the company decisions today. Cockburns is known amongst the Portuguese growers as “Casa Smeet”, as Cockburn just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily. Cockburn’s is also linked to Martinez Gassiot, a famed ultra luxury Port firm founded in 1790 by an ambitious Spaniard, Sebastian Gonzales Martinez, who had gone to London to sell Port, Sherry and Cigars from Havana. John Peter Gassiot, an Englishman, joined forces with Mr. Martinez back in 1822. Both port houses were acquired by Harvey’s Group in the 1960s.

Cockburn’s first established its vineyard holdings in the steep, rugged beautiful hillsides of the Douro Superior. They own various Quintas on these spectacular hillsides including Quinta dos Canais and Quinta do Tua. Cockburn’s has also pioneered viticulture on the flatter ground away from the river for high-quality grapes used for the Cockburn’s Special Reserve. Currently, Cockburn’s is the only port house to have made a sizeable investment in this area. Cockburn’s is also one of the thirteen members of the legendary Factory House, a private club in Oporto established for the “Gentleman” of the Port Trade, over 250 years ago. The lovely building was designed by John Whitehead, a scientist, and mathematician who became famous for the weighty granite staircase he built, which has stood with no support since 1790! The Factory House still holds their traditional Wednesday Lunches, where guests can enjoy elegant Portuguese dishes served with top Ports (including Cockburn’s) in the noble surroundings of this historic venue.

Wines produced

  • Cockburn's Special Reserve

    Special Reserve is a "vintage character" port, made with the superior Port Grapes of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tintã Cão, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca. Made with a blend of fine ruby ports from various years and vineyards, aged in large vats to retain their ruby red color and bottled ready to drink after filtration.

  • Cockburn's Anno

    Late Bottled Vintage port (LBV), a style of port that is made entirely of wines harvested in a single year, from various vineyard properties, sourced from Cockburn's estate vineyards in the Upper Douro, as well as selected "A" grade private growers. Made with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca ,Tinta Roriz ,Touriga Francesa, and Tinto Cao.

  • Cockburn's Quinta dos Canais

    Single Quinta Port made from the best estate, with Touriga Nacional-50%, Tinta Barroca-30%, Touriga Francesa-20% and aged in 50 year old barrels for 2 years. This Quinta is considered to be the "Jewel in the Crown".

  • Cockburn's Vintage Port

    The best of the best -the best wine of one superior year blended from various vineyard sources. Aged two years in cask before bottling, vintage ports require at least 15 years of bottle aging. Douro Superior is the sub DO, and the vineyards used for this supreme Port include Quinta do Atayde, Quinta dos Canais, Quinta do Tua.

  • Cockburn's Fine Ruby

    Blend of young wines from various years, aged for three years in wood casks and bottled after filtration. With rich, full-bodied flavors of raspberry, plum and spice, it retains the red color and fruit flavor of youth, and is ready to drink when bottled, offering a rich, fruity, sweet taste.

  • Cockburn's Fine Tawny

    Aged for a minimum of three years in smaller barrels than the Ruby to quicken aging to a reddish amber (tawny) color and to develop a smoother, nutty flavor. The wines are left "upriver" in the Douro Valley to age in the hotter climate (the "Douro Bake"), speeding the aging process and lightening the color. Tawny port is bottled filtered and ready to drink.

  • Cockburn's 10 Year Old Tawny

    Blended from older, mature wines aged in cask and then refreshed by the addition of younger wines. The "indicated age" is the average age of the wines in the blend. These wines exhibit a silky smoothness from the cask aging and are ready to enjoy upon release.

  • Cockburn's 20 Year Old Tawny

    This wine is notably sweeter than the 10-year-old Tawny, and much more concentrated, yet displays the characteristic Cockburn's style of freshness and grip. Wonderful with rich cream-based desserts, such as crème brûlée, cheesecake or flan.

Winery details

Cockburn Port

Rua D Leonor de Freitas
4401-099 Vilanova de Gaia
Tel +351 22 377 6545
Fax 351 22 377 6599

Age of vines
up to 100 years
Oak barrel origin
Miguel Corte Real
Grape varietals
Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca ,Tinta Roriz ,Touriga Francesa, and Tinto Cao

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