Portugal - Sandeman Port
Famous for pleasure
" Sandeman's portfolio also includes wines from Jerez, Madeira and brandies of excellence "

As part of the second International Grand Chapitre of the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) in 2019 a coach tour of the Douro Estates included picture-perfect Quinta do Seixo, one of the largest and most iconic vineyards in the heart of Douro, and the true showroom of Sandeman in the region.

Benefiting from a prime location on the southern shore of the Douro river, situated between the city of Régua and the village of Pinhão, and referenced since the seventeenth century in the production of Port Wine, the 71 hectares of vineyards of Quinta do Seixo have been marking the landscape of Douro, through the hard work of many generations, and are now the cradle of the best Sandeman wines.

Over more than two centuries, Sandeman has based its success on a rare capacity for innovation combined with a deep knowledge transmitted from generation to generation.

Its founder was George Sandeman, a young and ambitious man from Perth, Scotland, who in 1790 took a loan of £300 from his father and launched a wine business in London. It was his dynamism and competence that dictated the rapid growth of the company.

Among the company’s innovations, in 1805 Sandeman was the first to brand a barrel, using a hot iron. This move gave its wine a name that guaranteed quality and prestige, even though in the late nineteenth century the concept of brand In the early twentieth century Sandeman pioneered the dissemination of its products around the world. In 1905 it became one of the first wineries to label and advertise its wines. More elaborate campaigns followed.

In 1928, the Scottish artist George Massiot Brown created for the brand a mysterious figure, dressed in the style of a Spanish caballeros, using a Portuguese university student’s cloak and a wide-brimmed hat. Later to be named ‘The Don’, this powerful image has been an integral part of the bottle labels and the brand’s advertising since the 1930s, when Sandeman itself bottled its first vintage and the Wine and Spirit Trade Record recognised the “beginning of the end of Port Vintage Wines bottled by merchants.”

In June 2002, Sandeman joined the corporate holding of Sogrape Vinhos, a leading group in Portugal known for its choice of family businesses with full respect for its history and tradition.

Today, representing the seventh generation of the founding family, George Sandeman, who is also a manager at Sogrape Vinhos, maintains that the greatest pleasure of being in the business of Port Wine is transmitted, “by the consciousness of belonging to a family that has for so long been making wines capable of giving pleasure to so many people.”

In addition to its valuable Port Wines, Sandeman’s portfolio also includes wines from Jerez, Madeira and brandies of excellence, a very rich offer in terms of diversity and quality gladly appreciated worldwide for its excellence, flavour, mystery and seduction.

No wonder that ‘FAMOUS FOR PLEASURE’ is the signature of the brand that is Sandeman.

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne

[Ed. With thanks to Sogrape Vinhos S.A. for their help with providing information for this article]