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Question subject

Date Asked

Old Colheita

December 21, 2012
Question by: Dean, Chester, UK


I have 1 bottle of  REAL COMPANHIA VELHA, VINHO DO PORTO, COLHEITA DE 1944.  Is it worth drinking or selling?


Hi Dean, Colheitas are single-harvest ports which have been aged in small wooden cask rather than bottle like a Vintage Port.  Colheitas are bottled when the maker feels they are ready for drinking; the label should state in what year it was bottled.  Although Colheitas, like all Tawny Ports, may maintain their quality if they have been well-cellared in cool, dark conditions, they will not improve with further ageing.  Certainly there is no reason to hold this wine any longer, and we would suggest enjoying this Colheita with friends and family.  Take a look at our Guide to Port Styles to learn more about the likely flavour profile and serving suggestions for your Colheita.

Symington Family Estates are not active in the secondary market for Port wines, nor is this one of our own brands, so we cannot advise you about this wine specifically.  We can tell you that generally only Vintage Ports from the top producers are sought in the secondary market, and you will have to satisfy any broker or potential buyer that the bottle has been well stored and likely to be in good condition - you may want to review our guidelines about Storing Vintage Port to learn more about good storage conditions. 

If you wish to pursue the possibility of selling this bottle, we would suggest you contact a wine auctioneer for further advice.  Bonham's, Christie's, or Sotheby's all have fine wine specialists, and in the UK there are many smaller regional auction houses that handle wines, you may find one near you.

Another alternative to the auction house route is a private sale to a keen port lover. There are two internet chat forums devoted to Port: The Port Forum, which is UK based, and For The Love of Port, which is based in the USA. Both have a thoroughly international following, however. Registration is free on both sites

On The Port Forum, post your query in the Port Conversations chat room. If you take a look, there are a number of threads like this already posted, with members offering advice re how the wines are drinking, price levels, etc. Interest in buying is usually expressed via the private mail function on each site, rather than publicly in the thread.

On For The Love of Port, go to the chat thread Port & Madeira Marketplace to post your message – and do read the Marketplace Disclaimer notice.

Post a full description of the bottle, including the full text and exact wording on the label, describe the fill level of the bottle, the condition of the capsule and bottle generally (e.g. signs of leakage or staining)  and all the information you can about when and where the wine was acquired, and very importantly, how and where it has been stored. If you have photos, you can post them, or send an email to the moderator asking for assistance, and they will add the photo into the thread.

Both of these forums are very friendly and helpful places, and the members are very knowledgeable and will offer candid advice. Good luck.

Impresso em

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