Graham’s Prince George charity dinner

The wild Douro Valley, where Graham’s vineyards thrive, is home to thousands of people who eke out a living in this harsh environment. For hundreds of years, the people of the Douro have been integral to the creation of the Port wine that has made this region famous. But life in such a remote environment can also bring with it deprivation and hardship.

The Douro and Trás-os-Montes region is amongst the poorest in Europe. With their roots deeply established in this region, this is a concern that strikes very close to home for the Symington Family.

Vinum

This was the backdrop for the fundraising dinner held by the family company, Symington Family Estates, at Vinum Restaurant & Wine Bar located in the spectacular surroundings of Graham’s 1890 Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia.

From Portugal with love

When the Family bottled the Graham’s 1982 Single Harvest Tawny (‘Colheita’ in Portuguese) in honour of the birth of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge they pledged to donate a proportion of the sales of this commemorative Port to the Douro charity Associação Bagos d’Ouro. In addition to this the dinner and auction held on the evening of Thursday 21st November raised another significant sum to be donated to this admirable charity.

Bagos d'Ouro

The Symington Family’s pledge to support the work of this charity was given encouragement by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saying it was “in keeping with Their Royal Highnesses’ wishes”.

Graham's 1982 Dinner in honour of Prince George of Cambridge

The President of Bagos d’Ouro Luísa Amorim made a moving speech during the evening. She drew on the special relationship between The United Kingdom and Portugal, the longest standing alliance in history, as a force for future good in both countries. The dedication of this wine born in the Douro Valley in 1982 to the young Prince born in London this year was felt by all to be a fitting symbol of this ongoing collaboration, following on from the 1952 Tawny Port bottled last year to honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

‘Berries of Gold’

“The Douro is a name synonymous with the supreme quality of excellent wines,” said Luísa on Thursday, “but it is also a very poor region.”

Her organization Bagos d’Ouro works with disadvantaged children in the Douro and Trás-os-Montes region to improve the quality of education and in so doing improve the opportunities and prospects of young people growing up there. Their vision, beautifully expressed in a Portuguese proverb, is that “the seeds of today will become the berries of gold of tomorrow”; and the charity’s name translates into English as, ‘Berries of Gold’.

Bagos d’Ouro’s vision is aligned with the Symington Family’s, whose commitment to the Douro region and its people goes back generations. While Port wine is the traditional drink served to toast Royalty and Heads of State, as well as to honour the birth of children.

Lot Nº1: the nº1 Jeroboam of Graham's 1982 Tawny Port.
Lot Nº1: the nº1 Jeroboam of Graham’s 1982 Tawny Port.

Dinner and auction

The wines served at Vinum Restaurant on Thursday were testament to the importance of the Douro region for wine-lovers, all of them coming from the Symington Family’s vineyards in the Douro Valley. Likewise the food highlighted the culinary wealth that the Trás-os-Montes region has to offer the world.

But the highlight of the evening was the result of the fundraising auction. The two lots were a 4.5 litre Jeroboam and three 75cl bottles in a wooden display case of Graham’s 1982 Tawny Port.

Lot Nº2: a three-bottle gift case of Graham's 1982 Tawny Port.
Lot Nº2: a three-bottle gift case of Graham’s 1982 Tawny Port.

The Jeroboam was eventually sold for €2550 and the three-bottle case for €1700, which was significantly more than the family had hoped for. The sale of tickets for the dinner raised an additional €2100. All combined and including the €6350 raised through sales of the 1982 Tawny Port the total donation made by Symington Family Estates to Bagos d’Ouro was €12 700.

The evening concluded by raising a toast of the 1982 Tawny Port as the Jeroboams circulated.
The evening concluded by raising a toast of the 1982 Tawny Port as the Jeroboams circulated.

There was no more fitting way to end the evening than to raise a toast to the President of Portugal, the Queen of The United Kingdom and His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. And of course, the Vinum staff, whose efforts made the evening so magnificent, circulated in the room to charge the glasses before they were raised from two Jeroboams of this very special 1982 Tawny Port.

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A Port For a Prince

Each individually numbered bottle comes in a very attractive presentation box.
Each individually numbered bottle comes in an attractive hand-crafted presentation box.

Graham’s Commemorative Bottling to Celebrate the Birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

To mark the birth of HRH Prince George, the Symington family has decided to bottle a special commemorative edition of Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port from 1982, the year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were born. To have selected a remarkable Tawny Port from the birth year of the parents to toast the birth of their first child makes this celebratory edition incomparable.

Prince George was born on 22nd July 2013 and is third in line to succeed his great grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, after his grandfather Prince Charles and his father Prince William. It is the first time, since the reign of Queen Victoria over a century ago that three generations of heirs to the throne are alive at the same time.

Graham's 1982 Commemorative Port, available in Jeroboams (4.5 litre bottles) with an oak box and in 75cl bottles.
Graham’s 1982 Commemorative Port, available in Jeroboams (4.5 litre bottles) with an oak box and in 75cl bottles.

For three decades, this very fine Port has been gently ageing in seasoned oak casks under the watchful eye of the Symington family, owners of this long established Port House. Two generations of Symington winemakers have followed the wine’s progress in the original Graham’s 1890 Lodge, on its long journey towards perfect maturity. Charles Symington, head taster and winemaker, has selected just 6 pipes (a little over 4,000 bottles) for this limited edition release. Each bottle is individually numbered.

In recent years Graham’s has released various exceptional Aged Tawnies, amongst them the 1961 and 1969 Single Harvest Ports, as well as the Graham’s 1952 Diamond Jubilee Port, which was bottled to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Jeroboam Nº1 will be auctioned at a fund raising dinner in Graham's Vinum Restaurant on November 21st.
Jeroboam Nº1 will be auctioned at a fund raising dinner in Graham’s Vinum Restaurant on November 21st.

In the UK, Graham’s 1982 Single Harvest Tawny Port will be available from Berry Bros. & Rudd, Fortnum & Mason and Hedonism Wines, amongst others. In Portugal too, the Port will be available from leading fine wine merchants as well as at Graham’s own 1890 Lodge shop. The Port will be on the wine list of one of London’s most exclusive Hotels and Restaurants — The Goring, where the Duchess of Cambridge stayed the day before her marriage to Prince William. In Portugal it will feature on the wine list of Graham’s Vinum Restaurant, which opened earlier this year and is already highly regarded as one of Porto’s finest restaurants.

In aid of a good cause: a contribution from the proceeds of the sale of this limited edition Tawny Port will be donated to a children’s charity based in the Douro region where this wine was produced. We have selected Bagos d’Ouro, a charity that helps underprivileged children and young people in the region, namely by supporting their education. A fund raising dinner will be held at Graham’s Vinum restaurant on November 21st during which Jeroboam bottle Nº1 and 3 x 75cl bottles (in a special oak case) of the Graham’s 1982 will be auctioned.

LogoBOPort has always been a wine associated with celebration and longevity, given its ability to age over long periods. W & J Graham & Co invites you to raise a glass of this superb 1982 to salute the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s firstborn child.

Tasting Note, Graham’s 1982 Tawny Port

Graham's Vinum Restaurant where a fund raising event will be held in support of a Douro charity: Bagos d'Ouro
Graham’s Vinum Restaurant where a fund raising event will be held in support of a Douro charity: Bagos d’Ouro

The Port is beautifully aromatic with notes of vanilla, soft butterscotch and quince, combined with exotic spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate is velvet-smooth with highly polished definition and elegance. Hints of honey, raisins and caramel show through, perfectly balanced by a backbone of orange zest with silky tannins.

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