Dows started as a family venture in1798 as two quintas (wineries) known as Bomfim and Senhora da Ribiera, along the Upper Douro Valley, but became more along the way. Bruno da Silva began the legacy when he set up shop in London to import wines from his native Oporto, Portugal. After ingratiating himself in English society (by marrying an English woman) he soon developed a reputation for both his business acumen and his quality wines. Bruno's son, John took over the venture and in 1862 brought into partnership Frederick William Cosens. Then George Acheson Warre joined, and a few years later the partnership merged with James Ramsay Dow, who had made a name for himself in 1856 with the publication of a piece on the vine fungus "odium" which was devastating vineyards throughout the Douro at the time. Together the partners were able to distinguish their wines under the newly adopted DOW'S brand name as the hallmark Ports of the time. While the centuries have passed, their reputation remains unparalleled today.