In 1815, the Scottish brothers Robert and John Cockburn, successful wine merchants in Leith near Edinburgh, set up a branch of their firm in Porto: R & J Cockburn's though like all of the early Port companies the name changed and they came to be known as Cockburn's & Co. The family built themselves a remarkable reputation for fine Vintage Port. Records at the London auction houses show that in the early twentieth century, Cockburn's Vintage Ports commanded the highest prices of any of the Port houses.
Cockburn's Special Reserve Port was one of the most revolutionary moves in the Port market. Launched in 1969, it was the Original Reserve Port, aged for longer in wood barrels to give it balance and complexity but which was more widely accessible than Vintage Port. This created a middle ground between Ruby and Vintage, never before seen and transforming the Port world.
Today, Cockburn's is the leading brand of port in the UK, the world's largest premium port market.