Established in 1822, Fonseca Guimaraens, often just referred to as Fonseca, is one of the most important and successful Port houses today. Since 1948 it has been part of the Fladgate Partnership along with Taylors and Croft, with each name retaining its own separate identity. The wines of Fonseca have an undeniable house style of their own which has been described as round and generous.
The Guimaraens family has been closely involved in the production side since the late 19th century. David Guimaraens is now in charge of overseeing winemaking and has been instrumental in improving practices in the vineyard as well as modernising the cellar, introducing specially designed vinification vats tellingly known as port-toes. These piston-driven paddles cleverly replicate the traditional method of foot-pressing grapes.
Fonseca owns 3 main quintas, or vineyards, in the Douro, accounting for around 70 hectares, and these sites account for the majority of their vintage Port production. The most important of these is Quinta do Panascal, which is located on the southern bank of the Douro River and provides the backbone of the Fonseca Vintage Port blend.
Fonseca produces and ships a variety of Port, of which their aged tawnies and vintage Ports are the best known internationally. Several Society wines are produced and shipped by Fonseca including The Society’s Exhibition Tawny Port, 10 years old and The Society’ Exhibition Crusted Port.