The last decades of the 20th century saw further broadening of consumption of Port within and beyond the shores of Europe, a process that has continued into the new millennium. Although Britain continues to be the main consumer of quality Port wine, the centre of gravity has shifted towards North America with the United States and Canada developing as key customers. Emerging markets in Asia and Latin America are awakening to the pleasures of Port.
Port came of age as a great wine a very long time ago. Steeped in tradition and with an extraordinary history and heritage, it is has nevertheless always been able to adapt and thrive, attracting new generations of consumers to its delights. Many trends are in its favour, most importantly the interest in the culture and pleasures of wine and food which has spread around the world. Port, with its diversity of different styles and flavours, is uniquely able to respond to this.
Consumers everywhere are becoming more knowledgeable and curious and therefore more likely to be attracted to wines such as Port which represent genuine quality and tradition and which have fascinating stories to tell. Port’s uniqueness allows it to differentiate itself in a world of wine which is becoming bafflingly complicated but where genuine choice and diversity are sometimes lacking. For most consumers the trend is, to use the common cliché, ‘to drink less but drink better’ and producers such as Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca or Croft which continue to focus on the very finest styles of Port can be confident that that they will be there to write new chapters in Port’s long and illustrious history.