A contrarian, but arch collaborator; irreverent, but a lover of tradition, Dirk van der Niepoort is something of a conundrum. However, the willingness of the 40th recipient of the Decanter Hall of Fame award to flout convention and question authority or perceived wisdom is crystal clear. It has been a pebble, maybe even a boulder, in the pond of the Portuguese wine industry, making waves that have reached far and wide.
Scroll down to see Dirk Niepoort’s five inspirations and influences
At a time when, says fellow producer Paul Symington, ‘many thought it was mad’, Niepoort successfully diversified his family’s 19th-century Port company, entering the still wine arena and blazing a trail for Douro DOC wine. He has elevated the reputation of Portuguese wine, throwing his creativity and weight behind premium wines of quality and personality, and encouraging and helping others to do the same.