This is a very rare style of Port and many Port lovers have never even heard of it, and even fewer have ever tasted one. Literally the word garrafeira (pronounced: gah-rah-FAY-ruh) translates to bottle cellar, private wine cellar or bottle rack in Portuguese. Do not confuse this with the word garrafeira you may find on your typical table wine in Portugal. In that scenario the word "garrafeira" typifies a Reserve wine, but has nothing to do with Port.
Garrafeira Port, which today is only produced by the Niepoort family, is an elegant style of Port made from the grapes of a single harvest, like a Colheita and therefore has a vintage date on the bottle. But "Garrafeira" is its own special category and unique ageing regime.
After aging in wood for three to six years the wine is transferred to glass demijohns ("bon bons") which can vary (in the Niepoort Lodge) from seven to eleven liters apiece, and the ageing process continues in glass. This type of aging adds a unique character known as "cheiro has garrafa" (translates to: savour or essence of the bottle) which is derived from prolonged direct contact with the glass demijohns. Further aging in the demijohns, sometimes for well over 50 years helps to produce a seamless, smooth Port that is delicate, fresh and possesses great finesse.