Portugal: Tasting Port at Sandeman Cellars

Sandeman is to port what Dom Perignon is to champagne – elite and cream of the crop. In 1790, a son of a failing furniture maker named George Sandeman from Scotland borrowed 300 pounds to start a port and sherry business in London. The result was one of the most famous wine labels in the world! Sandeman brand was the first wine brand to be officially trademarked in 1805 (the year trademarking was invented), and considered the premium port (and later sherry), a head above all the competitors and demanding a premium price. Today, Sandeman is a registered trademark in 130 countries. In 1928, a French artist created an emblem for Sandeman – a silhouette of a caped man wearing a Portuguese cape and a Spanish hat – the Sandeman Don. The emblem became forever associated with quality port and sherry. Sandeman cellars in Porto is perhaps the most interesting of the port tours – the most incredible part is the bottles of port from almost 100 years ago, you get to see vintages with labels from 1985, then 1978, then 1957, then 1927, then 1908!