In 1730, Henry Burmester and John Nash founded Burmester & Nash in London, a cereal trading company. They moved to Vila Nova de Gaia and in 1750 began shipping port wine to the British Isles and the rest of Europe. The family name originates from the German word 'Burgmeester', meaning 'mayor' - as the family came from the small north Germany city of Moelln.
The firm was dissolved at the end of the 18th century, when Henry Burmester Jr. and his two sons, Fredrick and Edward, set up a new port wine company, H.Burmester & Sons.
Historically, Bumester purchased grapes in the Pinhao valley but in 1991 the firm purchased Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, a "Class A" vineyard.