Niepoort

While several notable Scots and English families (Graham, Warre and Taylor, for example) emigrated to the Douro valley in the 18th century, others from Port-importing countries did likewise, and the Niepoorts arrived from the Netherlands.

Dirk Niepoort now runs the firm, with a dedication and enthusiasm that has made him one of the most popular figures in the wine trade. Niepoort was formerly more well-known for its Colheita wines, the vintage tawny Ports that are not often exported.

Dirk has striven to improve the company's Vintage Ports; His vineyards were upgraded (notably most are farmed organically, without any pesticides and herbicides) and the winery completely revamped.  As for the grape crushing, Dirk is a passionate advocate of the traditional method of 'treading' (by foot) to extract maximum colour and flavour. These efforts resulted in magnificent examples from recently declared years.

Niepoort Vintage Port has a style that can be appreciated when very young, though as it matures, the wine soon closes up and becomes as long-lived as any.

The company used to buy all its grapes from small growers but since the end of the 1980s, Niepoort has invested in their own quintas. In 1988 it purchased Nápoles, followed by Carril in 1989 and Quinta do Passadouro, an estate made up of four tiny quintas, in 1990.

Dirk Niepoort deserves the accolades he receives for his hard work, though this also means the company's wines have become increasingly scarce.

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