tirsdag den 1. juli 2014

Vintage Cellars

Most people who have been visiting Port lodges in Gaia are impressed by the amounts of cask – from the smaller pipes (600 litres) to the big vats (up to 100.000 litres). But another very interesting thing to see and explore is the cellars where the companies are storing their Vintage Port – the Port that are aging in bottles.
After tasting Port at Burmester and Sandeman, we had an appointment with winemaker David Guimaraens in the evening. David Guimaraens is the head winemaker of The Fladgate Partnership which owns Taylor’s, Croft and Fonseca – three prestigious Vintage brands. Last year they bought Krohn as well, a house that is famous for its aged Tawnies and Colheitas.

We met David at Taylor’s lodge and went through the big storehouse with all the casks and down to the Vintage Cellar. Well in a matter of fact there are two cellars – a big one with bottles in two levels and a smaller one. A sign says that the big cellar has a capacity of 576.996 bottles of Port! 
I did not count the bottles, but there sure was a lot in different sizes and ages – and from all three houses. It is interesting to see the differences in the amount of bottles from the vintages. In 2011 all the companies sold most of their stocks en primeur, but in older classical years they stored more.

The cellar at Taylor’s is not the first Vintage Cellar I have visited, and every time I find it exciting to walk around looking at all those bottles from vintages going more than 100 years back. The cellars are very different, which the photos below will show. First we have the cellar in the newly renovated Graham’s logde and then the old and more rustic cellar at Ramos Pinto.

When we left Taylor’s we went across the street to The Yeatman, the hotel that Fladgate opened in 2010. There we had a great dinner beside the pool together with David Guimaraens. 

Oysters, presunto, fish and cheese among other things and off course wine and finally Port: Fonseca Vintage 1994 and 1977, Taylor’s Vintage 1985 and Quinta da Eira Velha Vintage 2008 and 2011. A very comfort and pleasant way to end a long day in Gaia.

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