Home News > June 2020 > Kopke, the first Port Wine House to be named Fortified Producer of the Year at the Sommelier Wine Aw

Kopke, the first Port Wine House to be named Fortified Producer of the Year

Sogevinus Fine Wines is an independent, privately owned, Douro wine producer. Its portfolio includes Kopke, Burmester, Cálem and Barros. Representing five centuries of wine, Sogevinus is proud of the unique identities of each of the individual Houses. With 250 hectares of vines spread over three estates (Quinta do Bairro, Quinta de São Luiz and Quinta do Arnozelo), Sogevinus is committed to sustainable practices that seek to preserve a unique terroir in the birthplace of its wines, the Douro Valley.

Founded in 1638, Kopke is recognised as the oldest Port Wine house in the world and was established many years before the Douro Demarcated Wine Region. Its library of very old wines, including a plethora of tawny Ports and very rare white Port wines, has sealed Kopke’s long-established reputation for producing the finest Ports. Made in the same way for centuries by marrying a selection of wines that have been cask-aged for decades and often centuries, Kopke’s exclusive wine library of carefully managed old wines makes Kopke unique and will preserve the brand’s heritage for future generations.

Kopke was the world’s first specialist in tawny Port. Aged in oak barrels, these artisan Ports can spend years in barrel, as showcased in the recent release of two very special ports from 1940. Tawny Ports are bottled to order, ensuring they remain fresh and continue to develop right up until they are bottled. The portfolio also includes a unique collection of barrel-aged white Ports, which are used to make both blended Ports as well as single vintage Ports. Recent releases such as the 2003 white Colheita was praised for its versatility at the recent Awards with the judges commenting on its elegance and well-balanced style. All of Kopke’s Ports come in the iconic black bottle with the hand-painted label, ensuring they stand out from their competitors.

Kopke wines are sourced and produced in Quinta São Luiz. Bought in 1922, this historical Quinta is situated on the left bank of the Douro river and is considered one of the most emblematic estates of the Douro region. It includes 125 hectares in total with 90 hectares planted with carefully nurtured and some very old vines. The imposing geography of the Douro Valley affords its own advantages. The plunging valleys allow vines to be grown from an altitude of 70 metres, down by the river, right up to 600 metres on the upper ridges with immensely diverse terroirs. It is the cradle of Kopke wines, and where the legacy will continue.

Over the last decade, chefs and sommeliers have discovered the versatility of tawny and white Ports with their cuisine. Due to the extended ageing in barrel, once these Ports are opened, they can last for weeks in the fridge, an undoubted bonus for those wishing to have a Port on a wine list yet are worried about waste. Served chilled, these wines are perfect with any cheese board, and a variety of sweet desserts from sticky toffee pudding to a lighter almond tart.

It is only recently where the phenomenon of matching these delectable Ports with savoury courses has really proved a revelation. Aged white Port and scallops is a must-try for all foodies and those establishments seeking an unusual or interesting pairing to offer their customers. White Colheita with sweetbreads is also delicious, as per Monica Galleti’s creation at Mere in London. Aged tawny Ports, such as the Kopke 1980 Colheita, also pairs extremely well with Asian-style cuisine, especially curries. If you’re looking for something new to offer your customers, enjoy trying new matches with Kopke white Ports and tawnies and let us know your favourites!

For more information please visit the Kopke website, or for more information on Sogevinus please visit the Sogevinus website.