Established in Oporto and active in their Port wine business, the Crofts never lost touch with their Yorkshire origins. In his treatise, John Croft describes himself as ‘Member of the Factory at Oporto and Wine Merchant of York’.
The family returned to England in the nineteenth century, after the Peninsular Wars, and there are no longer any Crofts in the firm. Nevertheless. the family maintained its affection for the fortified wines of the Douro and the late Percy Croft, who died in 1935, is credited with the famous words: "Any time not spent drinking Port is a waste of time."
In 1911 the House of Croft was acquired by the Gilbeys, the distinguished English wine trade family. It is now owned and run by descendants of two old Port wine families, the Yeatman’s and Fladgate’s.
The place of distinction occupied by Croft and its wines is due in no small measure to its ownership of one of the finest estates of the Douro Valley, the famous Quinta da Roêda
Port is one of the world’s great classic wines and no meal, formal or informal, is complete without it.
Like any great wine producing region Port is the result of a unique combination of climate, soil and grape which generations of human skill and dedication has allowed to express itself as great wine. Like other classic wines its appeal is timeless, as relevant today as it was over three hundred years ago when the first Croft Ports were made.
Some people may hesitate before serving Port to their guests because they are afraid of choosing the wrong wine or making a mistake. The following notes are intended to explain the basics of port and dispel some of its mysteries.