John Cossart, head of the Madeira house Henriques & Henriques, died yesterday aged 63.
Cossart was a prominent figure in Madeira. Andrew Hawes, head of the company’s UK agent Mentzendorff, said Cossart’s death marked the ‘end of an era.’
‘All those who knew John – and that is a very great number across the wine trade globally – will remember him very fondly as one of the great characters in our business,’ he said. ‘But more than that, he was a lovely man and we will miss him greatly.’
The Madeira winemaker is credited for modernising the business he inherited from his father Peter Cossart in 1991.
He expanded the company’s vineyard holdings by planting a new 25-acre Quinta Grande vineyard. It was the first mechanised vineyard on the island and remains the biggest.
Cossart also set up a new winery and was responsible for a packaging redesign – a revolutionary step on the island, where traditions are paramount.
His funeral will be held on 29 February on Madeira.
Written by Jo Iivonen