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Van Zellers & Co

XIX The Rare Port Collection

Bottled Liquid History

12 June, 2024

This Rare Port Collection unveils an extraordinary selection of three Very, Very Old Tawny Ports. These gems are so unique, they may never be encountered again in our lifetime.

While casks of very old Ports can still be found in the Douro region, their numbers are dwindling, and finding them in pristine condition is increasingly rare. Cristiano van Zeller had long known about these exceptional Ports and had advised the owning family on their preservation until they came into his possession in 2018. His expertise in Port making and his commitment to nurturing enduring friendships and business relationships made this acquisition possible.

The question arose: how best to share these remarkable wines? Each of these unique Ports dates back to the 19th century, each from a different year. To honor their legacy, we chose to use handcrafted bottles made by the few remaining glassmaking specialists in the country. These artisans shape the molten glass into bottles at unbearably high temperatures, creating a rounded bottom and a short neck with dark green glass, reminiscent of 19th-century bottles.

Each bottle in this collection tells a story, capturing a moment in history that Van Zellers & Co will never repeat. 

The collection includes:

Crafted by Liberty

Celebrating the year Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States in 1860

Crafted by Family

Marking the marriage of Cristiano’s great-great-grandparents in 1870

Crafted by Poetry

Commemorating the birth of the illustrious poet Fernando Pessoa in 1888

Through Liberty, we have chosen them.
Through Family, we have cared for them.
Through Poetry, we share them.

To enhance the 19th-century experience, we collaborated with Vista Alegre Atlantis, founded in 1824, renowned for superior quality crystal and porcelain. Their hand-blown decanter, designed exclusively for the Van Zellers & Co XIX The Rare Port Collection, complements the set beautifully.

Included in the collection are three silver necklaces from Leitão & Irmão, official jewelers to the Portuguese crown since the 19th century. These necklaces adorn the crystal decanter and distinguish each wine, holding the secret behind the story of each Very, Very Old Tawny Port.

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