For generations the Berrys, of London wine merchants Berry Bros. & Rudd, and the Symingtons have worked together to bring Graham’s Ports to England, the oldest and still one of the strongest markets for fine Port wines. Every harvest season we enjoy hosting members of BBR’s team in the Douro so they can better understand the region and winemaking behind these superb Ports.
This year, as is customary, our guests stayed at Quinta dos Malvedos and Graham’s winemaker Henry Shotton showed them over the winery and then took them up into the vineyards. With Malvedos as their base of operations Johnny Symington led the group on visits to Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, Quinta do Vesuvio and to Quinta de Roriz, where in collaboration with Bruno Prats we make our finest Douro DOC wines, Chryseia and Post-Scriptum, as well as a Vintage Port in extraordinary years.
The highlight of the visit, however, was a celebratory dinner at The Factory House hosted by Graham’s to thank Berry Bros. & Rudd as well as the SFE team who contributed in their respective ways to the outstanding success of the Graham’s 1952 Diamond Jubilee Port in the UK market.
Left to right, back row: Richard Girling, John E Fells & Sons; Johnny Symington, Joint Managing Director, SFE; Charles Newman, Sales and Services, BBR; Jonathan White, Direct & Interactive Marketing Manager, BBR; Euan Mackay, Sales Director, SFE; Miguel Potes, Communications Manager, SFE; Henri Sizaret, Vice President, Marketing, SFE; Left to right, front row: Jackie Thurn-Valsassina, Event & Visits Manager, SFE; Vicky Williams – PR Manager, BBR; Irene Fernandes, Market Assistant (UK), SFE; Laura Atkinson – Fine Wine Private Account Manager, SFE; Anabela Mouta, PA to Johnny Symington & Vintage Port Management, SFE; Eliana Soares, Graham’s Marketing Manager, SFE; Corinne Graham – Cellar Plan and Wine Club Administrator
The evening at the Factory House began with cocktails, and Euan Mackay, Graham’s Sales Director, explained the history and significance of The Factory House as the home of the Port trade and Vintage Port.
Dinner naturally featured our Altano and Chryseia wines with the main courses before moving on to a spectacular succession of fine Ports. The Graham’s 30 Year Old Tawny was served with a chocolate fondant with tangerine sorbet and mascarpone, perfect to enhance the complex flavours of this old Tawny.
As is traditional at the Factory House, the guests then moved through to the second dining room, the better to savour their after-dinner Ports away from any lingering aromas of food.
Johnny Symington raised a toast to Her Majesty the Queen of England and The President of Portugal, with a glass of the 1952 Diamond Jubilee Port. He went on to make a brief speech thanking Berry Bros. & Rudd for the long association and friendship we have shared for generations, and the role BBR has played in establishing Vintage Port as one of the world’s greatest wines. Johnny went on to thank all present from both Berry Bros. & Rudd and Graham’s for their various contributions to the success of the 1952 project in the UK.
Vicky Williams, Public Relations Manager for Berry Bros. & Rudd, responded with a toast to friendship. The evening continued over a superb bottle of Graham’s Vintage Port 1970.