Van Zellers & Co
Importer in China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Brasil, Norway, Ireland, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Check Republic, Slovakia, Baltic countries, direct clients in Germany
2 highlighted wines
- CV – Curriculum Vitae Douro Red
- Van Zellers & Co. Vintage Port
Book a meeting with Van Zellers & CoPick a date between March 16 and 20 and find a slot for a one to one video meeting with this producer.
About Van Zellers & Co
Van Zellers & Co. was officially established as a Port Wine company in 1780, but records show that business began before that, in the early part of the 18th century, when the family was already trading different commodities, including Port. We are direct descendants of Arnaldo João van Zeller, born in Roterdam in 1703, who arrived in Porto in the late 1720’s. Arnaldo João married Ana Francisca Palmer Henckel, herself heiress to two Port wine merchants (through her father, Peter Henckel and her grand-father, Samuel Palme r) but also a direct descent from the first English wine Merchant to start working with wines in Porto – Walter Maynard – established in 1650. Walter Maynard had married Leonor da Silva Moura, daughter of Francisco da Silva Moura, established as a wine merchant in Porto since 1620. Our family tree shows how many different ways we can track our roots and relations back to the Douro and to Port Wine.
In the 18th Century, Van Zellers & Co held a fleet of more than 27 ships. It was responsible for the first trade journey to Eastern Europe. Our commercial relationships with Russia reached its peak during this time and were relevant to the point that Czarina Catherine the Great appointed Pedro van Zeller, our 6th grand-father, as the Consul for Russia in Portugal.
In the 19th Century, for reasons we still have not uncovered, Van Zellers & Co was sold off to a larger shipper. It is not until the 1937, that our great-great grandfather Luis Vasconcellos Porto, owner of Quinta do Noval, buys back Van Zellers & Co. In the 1980’s, when Cristiano van Zeller was heading Quinta do Noval, Van Zellers & Co becomes independent from the main company, running its own stocks, vineyards and brands. This unfortunately did not last very long, as due to a decision between all cousin’s, Noval was to be sold to Axa Millésimes in 1993. Destiny had it that Van Zellers & Co landed in the hands of a close cousin of ours, with no stocks, vineyards or assets. In 2006, having seen the trajectory the Douro had taken under the leadership of Cristiano, our cousin decides to offer Van Zellers & Co as a Christmas gift, believing it would finally be in the right hands to take off again. It did.
First with the release of VZ Douro White 2006. Then came a few Van Zellers Reds and Whites, in the early part of 2011 CV-Curriculum Vitae becomes part of the wine selection. Port Wines reappears later. As to truly become a Port Wine shipper, there has to be a minimum stock ageing in the cellar to have diversity of age, flavours and aromas to create blends.
In 2018 Van Zellers & Co finally stocks itself with over 175,000 litres of Old and Very Old Tawny Ports, currently ageing in our cellar in the Douro Valley, ready for the new life being brought into the company.
Throughout these nearly 400 years of experience being passed down 15 generations, we believe in the dazzlement of nature, we have acquired the knowledge to craft great Ports and we respect the passing of time for the creation of great wines.
Van Zellers & Co sees a new light with the 14th and 15th Generation of the Van Zeller family. Coming close to the year we celebrate 400 years of our family in the Port Trade, we relaunch Van Zellers & Co with a new image, a new philosophy and a new range of wines.
Respect for the Douro, for its heritage, diversity, expression, tradition and people is what keeps us in the wine trade. Through experience, we have come to see Port and Douro wine in a new light.
For us, Port can be expressed in three different categories – Wines that have been Crafted by Hand, by Time or by Nature. These three factors are what are mainly responsible for the creation of such diversity in the different styles, flavours, textures and complexity behind Port Wine.
We extended these concepts to our range of Douro DOC wines. It’s our own craftmanship and knowledge, time itself or the magic behind nature and its ways, that transform Port and Douro wine into something unique in each bottling.
We are a family of permanent reinvention. We witnessed time being transformed into legacy, knowledge into creativity and passion into wine.
In everything we have done and do, we challenge and dare.
We are not the only ones, but we believe our way makes us irreplaceable.
Crafted by Hand
Man has played an essential part in creating wines that have transported us to greater heights of pleasure and satisfaction. It is with our work, knowledge and dedication, that the greatest flavours and aromas have been created. It all starts from the hand of man, who plants the vine, cares for it, and picks the luscious grapes this plant produces. After vinifying and fortifying the wine, it is placed in barrel. Each ageing barrel in our cellar has its own aroma and taste. When we dedicate ourselves to knowing precisely what every scent, texture, colour and flavour is guarded in each oak cask, we start to make alchemy. Much like a perfume, the true art of the master blender is to combine all these different aromas to compose a harmonious wine. The different notes we select and the careful combination of the different flavours will create a final blend.
Each drop of wine is selected to produce the perfect blend for our Reserve Tawny and for our 10, 20, 30 or over 40 Years Old Tawny Ports.
The location, age and the many different grape varieties that compose each vineyard are the essential parts we look into to produce the perfect blend for our VZ Douro White and Red wines.
It is our knowledge, our sensitivity and our capacity to hand make all the different blends that goes into each one of these bottles of wine.
Crafted by Time
Time, in Port, must be the most valued ally. It is time that will allow the wines to settle. Young wines are vibrant and exciting. Time helps to mellow down the strength of tannins, the muscle and structure of the wine, the fresh fruit, flower and earthy aromas that a young Port holds. Time brings new nuances of colour with touches of gold and hints of green and amber. Time gives the wine freshness and simultaneously its more luscious and mellow feel. Time adds a touch of surprise, with the unexpected tastes and aromas that appear as the ageing process in cask creates a metamorphosis of aromas.
It is remarkable how Port has such a great ageing potential. We celebrate the magic of time, with our selection of Old Tawny Colheita Ports.
We also celebrate the magic of time of many generations of our family in the business, putting together the experience and skills passed down by each generation and acquired through time by the 14th generation, together with the “impulsive” youth and fresh innovation of the 15th generation to create the unique 15 Gerações Douro Red.
Crated by Nature
When we think of nature, we think of all the ways it dazzles our senses. Nature is alive, moving and reproductive. Nature changes and nature has its own ways. Our nature is to create wines that show the life and soul of a place and of a wine. Something ever evolving, that we do not control and don’t intend to. We intend to see it live in a bottle. And eventually, transform, having a life of itself. These wines will not only show the unique characteristics of a place, but they will live in bottle, changing throughout time with a life of its own. The idea to bottle what nature has created is what makes winemaking so exciting.
We celebrate nature with our Late Bottled Vintage, Crusted and Vintage Ports and with all our single vineyard Douro wines, CV – Curriculum Vitae Douro White and Douro Red.
Porto, March 2020
Cristiano van Zeller
Francisca van Zeller