Bruce Duncan Guimaraens, winemaker for Taylor Fonseca, has died of a heart attack. He was 66.

Guimaraens began his career in the Port trade in 1956 when he joined the consolidated firms of Taylor Fladgate & Yeatman and Fonseca Guimaraens. His great-great-grandfather Manuel Pedro Guimaraens founded the house of Fonseca Guimaraens in 1822.

Guimareans took charge of winemaking and vineyard management for the Taylor Fonseca Group (now called The Fladgate Partnership) in 1961. He went on to produce some of the best vintage ports of all time – among them the legendary 1963 and 1977 Fonsecas.

He was also the driving force behind key vineyard acquisitions at Taylor Fonseca – Quinta do Cruzeiro, Quinta do Panascal and Quinta de Santo Antonio. Such acquisitions were vital in ensuring a continued supply of top quality grapes.

‘People will say Bruce was a big man,’ port expert and former director of Cockburns Peter Cobb told decanter.com. ‘At twenty-odd stone this was obvious. In fact, he was a great man and port has lost perhaps its best ambassador.’

‘Bruce was equally at home in the quintas of the Douro discussing the latest in viticulture with his farmers as he was singing the praises of his beloved Fonseca Bin 27 with fractious liquor store owners in Manhattan. Best of all was the companionship shared over a glass or two when the day´s work was done and the time had come to swap the odd anecdote.’

Guimareans’ son David joined Taylor Fonseca as a winemaker in the late 1980s and is now head winemaker for the Group.

Written by Josie Butchart28 August 2002