Shortly following its announcement to acquire the Delaforce and Croft Port brands from Guinness UDV, Taylor Fonseca has opened a winery at Quinta da Nogueira prior to the start of the 2001 harvest.

Following five years research into Port production technology, the company said the opening was "a progressive step in the Douro Valley and one which underlines Taylor Fonseca's commitment to the future of premium Port".

Spearheaded by technical director and company winemaker, David Guimaraens, the new winery will include bespoke vats and piston plungers which will replicate the quality achieved by foot treading in traditional lagares.

Guimaraens said: "Our research proves that the piston plungers, which we have installed at Nogueira, come within 5% of the quality attained by using traditional lagares. Whilst we only use foot treading for our Vintage Ports, we felt it was time to use similar extraction methods for all our Ports and create a winery which includes prototypes from our findings."

The new plunger replicates the aeration of the lagar by providing oxygen transfer to the phenolics during maceration. Although greater extraction is achieved using foot treading, the quality of Port can be improved across the range using similar extraction methods to foot treading without involving manual labour.