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Cockburn’s celebrates 200th birthday

Cockburn’s Port is planning a year of celebration in 2015 to mark the brand’s bicentenary, having first been established by Scotsman Robert Cockburn and his brother John in 1815.

Cockburn’s founder Robert Cockburn (Photo: Cockburn’s)

The Port house was founded in the same year as the Battle of Waterloo by the brothers, and continued to be family-owned until the twentieth century.

After 48 years as part of a multi-national company, the brand was returned to family ownership in 2010 when it was acquired by fellow Port dynasty Symington Family Estates.

During the last four years, some of the most significant changes have been made to the brand in its long history. As reported by this magazine, Symington’s has worked to preserve the Cockburn’s distinctive full-bodied palate and dry finish, but enhanced the wine with more profound fruit and better structure.

The company has also retained the additional maturity of the Cockburn’s Special Reserve, which historically spends longer in seasoned oak vats than most other reserve styles.

Paul Symington, family chairman of Symington Family Estates, commented at the time of the changes, “We are committed to reviving the fortunes of this iconic Port brand by restoring the quality that was the hallmark of its heyday. Cockburn’s has gone back to its roots in the Douro vineyards.”

And now, in the year of the brand’s bicentenary, Symington said, “Since buying Cockburn’s, we have decisively taken the brand back to its roots in the Douro vineyards.

“The corporate business plans are now a thing of the past and it is the wine’s quality which is our only consideration, exactly as Robert Cockburn’s quote (“The quality of the wine – that is the first thing to be looked to”) that we recently found in the archives.

“There is no better way to celebrate this very significant milestone in Cockburn’s history.”

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