Port 1985 Graham W. & J., Oporto
Vintage Port, Oporto, Original carton box, Bottled in 1987
Provenance: Sotheby's Paris, 7/21/1999
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The early 1800s was a watershed era for the vintners of Portugal’s Douro Valley, On one hand, the grape harvest of 1820, after fermenting and aging for four years, presented connoisseurs with a wine of remarkable sweetness, with “plenty of crust and plenty of color…and a well-stained cork,” according to T.G. Shaw, who recorded his views in Wine, the Vine, and the Cellar (1863), The remarkable vintage established Portuguese wine as a favorite among the British.
Graham W. & J.(We currently have no information available on this brand)
Graham W & J
The story of two families across three centuries. For almost two hundred years W & J Graham’s has been an independent family business renowned for producing the most excellent Port wines. Graham’s has always been a pioneer. Graham's was one of the first Port companies to invest in its vineyards in Portugal’s Douro Valley in 1890 and is now at the cutting edge of innovation in winemaking techniques. Today, five Symington cousins share responsibility for every aspect of the company and personally make Graham’s wines. They too have been involved with Port and the Douro for many generations, with ancestry dating back to the mid-17th century.
William and John Graham
William and John Graham founded their firm in Porto in northwest Portugal to trade in textiles. In 1820 they accepted twenty-seven barrels of Port as payment of a debt. The two brothers decided then to devote their energies to making the best Port wines from the Douro Valley: and so the Graham’s Port house was born. The Graham family already had extensive business interests overseas, both in their native Scotland and in India. They were considered by one contemporary historian to be, ‘among the merchant princes of Great Britain.’
The Symington Family
Graham’s first harvest under the ownership of the Symington family was extremely promising, with the declaration of Graham’s 1970 Vintage Port. 1970 is thought by many to be one of the most exceptional wines of that century. Nearly a hundred years after their ancestor A.J. Symington left Graham’s to set up on his own as a Port producer, the family’s relationship with this Port house came full circle. Besides the family’s other Port marques, Graham’s is the only remaining British Port company independently owned by a single family. This fact ensures that every aspect of the making of Graham’s Ports is controlled and cared for intimately.