Niepoort has been an independent family business since 1842. Through five generations the business has passed from one Niepoort to the next, and in most cases, the older and younger generations worked side by side for a long period. The fifth generation, Eduard Dirk Niepoort is now head of the business. Dirk joined his father Rolf in the family business in 1987, and set about adding a viable table wine wing to the long-standing Port operations. Niepoort's port production has been consolidated in a winery in Vale Mendiz - a valley in the heart of traditional Port growing and making in Cima Corgo. Dirk has acquired two Quintas for red wine production: Quinta de Nápoles and Quinta do Carril. Niepoort's table white wines are from an 80 year-old high altitude blue slate vineyard in the Covas Valley at the margin of the Cima Corgo, near the upper Douro. All of the fruit grown by Niepoort is organic. The winery is an amazing, underground gravity-fed job, air-conditioned by a mountain block of Douro schist heart rock. Fruit is hand-sorted, de-stemmed and handled entirely by gravity. Fermentation takes place mostly in open circular stainless steel 'lagares', with some Seguin Moureau foudre also in use. All whites are sulphur-blocked after fermentation to avoid malo, which would otherwise destroy all trace of the Douro mineral terroir. TSA concentrates on the 'essential' Niepoort table wines, which reflect the Douro in a pure and classical manner, albeit with appropriate contemporary technical assistance.

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