Niepoort Vinhos

Niepoort Vinhos

Who could even guess how many people - winemakers and other wine professionals - have benefitted from the Niepoort family’s expertise and generosity over the years? I'm glad to say I'm one of them. 

The Niepoort family has been making Port in the Douro Valley since 1842. The head of the family and architect of its modern-day success is Dirk Niepoort - a visionary winemaker with a creative gift to inspire. His influence makes Niepoort Vinhos more than a mere wine business – it’s a family, with branches spreading all over the world, bearing wonderful fruits that can all be traced back to the source - which is a tousle-haired polyglot with a twinkle in his eye and Crocs on his feet. 

In addition to making some of the world's best Ports, since the 90s Niepoort Vinhos has spearheaded the production of unfortified wines from the Douro Valley; latterly also moving into table winemaking in other regions of Portugal and beyond.

In addition to their base of Quinta do Nápoles in Douro, they own estates in Dão (Quinta da Lomba) and Bairrada (Quinta de Baixo - where I made my 2018 Baga). In recent years the family has increased its focus on the vineyard, with a lot of input from Bairrada and Dão table winemaker Sergio Silva. Thanks to his expertise, most of the family estate vines are now farmed biodynamically.

Niepoort table wines are easy to identify owing to their extraordinary finesse and freshness, which comes from earlier grape picking and less extractive winemaking. Their ‘infusion, rather than extraction’ approach is pretty standard stuff in wineries these days, but Dirk Niepoort was a pioneer. Maybe the pioneer.

Niepoort’s special talent is to be able to balance tradition with innovation. They will have old-school Port aficionados salivating over century-old Tawnies one minute, then start a leftfield with an unknown winemaker the next. Dirk has projects going on all over the place – the sheer exuberance of it all is catching. If you love wine, you’ll love Niepoort. It's inevitable. They call it 'the Niepoort effect'.

Buy TFWATH Baga 2018

Back to blog