Founded in 1815, Fonseca is considered one of the leading Port Houses, famed for its Vintage Ports.
In a nutshell: Fonseca has belonged in the first rank of Vintage Port producers since the 19th century. Its Vintage Ports are noted for their luscious fruitiness which displays great opulence and complexity.
Fonseca shipped its first Vintage Port to London in 1840, and by the mid-19th century had established the House’s wines as some of the most sought after in England. In 1874, they began to ship Crusted Port for the first time and they remain one of the few Houses to still produce this style today.
Fonseca’s three quintas are at the heart of the House’s idiosyncratic style of Port. Quinta do Panascal was one of the first properties to have organically certified vineyards as early as 1992, whilst Quinta de Santo António is a prize-winning model of sustainable viticulture producing both grapes and olive oil. In 2002, Fonseca were the first to produce a fully organic Port, the Fonseca Terra Prima, produced from a specific vineyard plot managed by head winemaker David Guimaraens.
The House is particularly well known for its Vintage Ports and its Reserve Bin 27 which is a perfect example of the house style.
The terroir: Fonseca’s vineyards are located on soils of schist that has useful water retention which helps combat the effects of the hot, dry summer temperatures. The two Pinhão Valley estates of Quinta do Cruzeiro and Quinta de Santo António, have supplied Fonseca for over a hundred years. Quinta do Panascal in the Távora Valley has a more recent association with Fonseca, but its wines perfectly complement those of the two Pinhão Valley properties.
The Fonseca ‘personality’: One of the few Port producers to have maintained such consistency of quality and style over the years, Fonseca has built a loyal community of Port enthusiasts who value its individuality and the inimitable character of its wines.