Today marked the official launch of building works to expand and improve the visitor experience at Graham’s Lodge. Paul Symington and Dr. Luis Filipe Menezes, President of the Municipal Council of Vila Nova de Gaia marked the occasion by signing a certificate commemorating the event, and placing it in a time capsule which has been buried in the floor.
Luis Loureiro, SFE architect and responsible for the planning and building works, explained the plan of works to the President and other visitors from the Municipal Council and the Press. The Lodge will continue to fulfil its primary role of ageing Graham’s finest ports in the mild climate of Vila Nova de Gaia, as it has for more than 120 years.
However, with more than 60,000 visitors a year, changes are needed to improve the visitor experience. The re-designed space will include a museum, expanded space for tastings and a new wine shop (built over the time capsule!). Best of all, the plans include a new restaurant where you will be able to enjoy all our Ports as well as Symington Family Estates’ Douro DOC wines, and a menu with choices designed to enhance them all. Look for the grand opening in 2012. The restaurant will enjoy the spectacular view upriver, of the Ponte Dom Luis and the riverfronts of both Porto and Gaia.
The project represents an investment of €2 million. Paul Symington, Chairman and Joint-Managing Director says ‘At a time of considerable economic uncertainty in Portugal and across Europe, this is proof of my family’s continued confidence in the future of Port and Douro wines. The Graham’s lodge has long been famous for the quality of its visits and this new project will substantially improve what is already one of the best Tourist destinations in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.’
The launch was wrapped with a quick tour through the Lodge and into the current reception area, where the group celebrated with a glass of Graham’s The Tawny.