Cockburn's are pleased to announce the reopening of their 19th century Port cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia following a major refurbishment.
The Cockburn’s cellars are the largest in the old quarter of the city, holding 6,518 seasoned oak barrels of maturing Port, plus the equivalent of a further 10,056 barrels in oak vats. This priceless stock is essential for the creation of great wines, especially the company's famous Special Reserve.
A new museum holds a collection of 19th century watercolours by Baron Forrester, along with extracts from the unpublished 1930s diaries of another of Port's legendary figures, John Smithes. As well as being a brilliant taster, Smithes was an early pioneer in the research of Douro grape varieties.
Visitors will see the company's coopers at work repairing barrels, using the same tools and crafts that their ancestors have used for centuries. The Symington family, owners of Cockburn's, have the only fully equipped cooperage in operation in Vila Nova de Gaia. At the entrance to the cooperage is a magnificent Robey steam engine, original manufactured in Lincoln, England in 1921 and used for the making of barrels until 1996.
The increasing pressure from major tourist projects in Vila Nova de Gaia is resulting in fewer cellars continuing the traditional ageing of Port in the historic quarter of the city. The newly renovated Cockburn's cellars with its large and valuable stocks, maintains the time-honoured and irreplaceable art of slowly maturing Port in seasoned oak.
Paul Symington said ‘The opening of these cellars is an important step in the revival of this great Port house after decades of multi-national ownership. My family continues to invest in Cockburn’s and now visitors can come and see our work at first hand.’
Pre-reservation is required as all visits are guided and can be made online, here: www.cockburns.com/visit-us
Prices start at €12.00 per person.