Port producer The Fladgate Partnership, which owns the Taylor's, Fonseca, Delaforce and Croft family of brands, is predicting 2007 could be the first vintage year for Port since 2003.

The company's harvest report said a wet winter helped replenish water reserves in the Douro region where Port is made. This was followed by enough summer sunshine to ripen the grapes and perfect conditions for picking in late September.

"We are very excited by the quality that is emerging from all our properties," said managing director Adrian Bridge. "Although it's far too early to make any decisions the 2007 is undoubtedly the first year in the last three that stands a good chance of being declared."

Vintage years for Port are traditionally decided after the wines have spent two years aging in the cask, but Bridge is already advising buyers and collectors to set aside funds for the 2007 Ports, which will be released for sale in spring 2009.

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