Founded in 1751, Ferreira is one of the oldest port wine producing houses and has always been synonymous with high-quality Portuguese wine.
The company’s growth and success are entirely connected to Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira (1811-1896) affectionately known as “Ferreirinha”, who was renowned for her brilliant vision as a businesswoman as well as her philanthropic actions.
Twice widowed, at the head of a large company, Dona Antónia had a true passion for the Douro region and did not content herself with managing the fortune she inherited from her father and uncle, themselves heirs of the vine-growing tradition of the Ferreira da Régua. Enterprising and bold, she lived a humble rural existence while investing heavily to modernise the region with skills, passion and faith. She accumulated around 13,000 barrels of vintage port and created a precious wine cellar of the most renowned harvests such as the 1815, 1820, 1834, 1847 and 1863, ensuring Ferreira’s heritage for many generations to come. At her death in 1896, in a male dominated world of proprietors and traders, she was the major vineyard owner of the Douro region providing work for thousands of labourers and became a symbol of strength for the whole area.
Today, more than 250 years later, Porto Ferreira is still the Portuguese benchmark in excellent quality Porto and Douro wines, a country and culture it is proud to represent.
Taste the History in Porto Ferreira Vintage 1815
The Porto Ferreira Vintage 1815 shares a rich history with Britain, as do the origins of the Portuguese fortified wine. Made in 1815, the wine honoured Wellington’s triumphant military victory ending the Napoleonic era, so much so that the English renamed it the “Waterloo Vintage”. The relationship between Porto Ferreira and London grew the same year when António Bernardo Ferreira sold 700 barrels of Port Wine to Butler Tyndale and initiated contact with Joaquim Máximo Virginiano, resident in London, to take on the role of agent. Later in 1826, Wellington was appointed Constable of the Tower of London, the location where the auction will take place.
The fascinating wine was harvested in 1815 and bottled some years later. Tasting notes from 1990 reveal that it has an intensely spicy aroma (cinnamon, pepper and ginger), hints of exotic woods, iodine and wax. Lively on the palate with good acidity balanced by residual sugars, it is dominated by dry fruits, possessing a balanced and lasting after taste.
Its Survival Championed and Nurtured
We owe its survival to legendary Ferreira heir, Dona Antónia Ferreira who was renowned for her visionary business sense as well as for her philanthropy. She restored Ferreira’s vineyards after the phylloxera pest and was known to share her wealth with the poorest and disadvantaged of the Douro region. Dona Antónia also ensured the safeguarding of exceptional quality Ferreira Vintage Port bottles by creating and nurturing a precious wine cellar including the most renowned harvests. She foresaw the importance of heritage looking at future generations before anybody in the Port industry.
Historically Important Port
Two hundred years later, Porto Ferreira today presents a unique auction for a wine of historic importance, paying tribute to those who ensured its permanence all the way to the present day – all in benefit of a charity. In celebration of Dona Antónia’s strong philanthropic belief, Porto Ferreira will donate all proceeds of the auction to APELA, the Portuguese Association for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation helping patients and families who face this currently incurable disease. [pullquote]Fernando Guedes, CEO of Sogrape, the family wine company that owns Porto Ferreira since 1987, says that “We’re all very excited to be auctioning off this exclusive bottle, which has been ageing in our cellars since 1815, for a good cause. We will only auction this one bottle worldwide, uniquely suited to celebrate the historic anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – and will hopefully be a memorable event in itself!”[/pullquote]
About Sogrape Vinhos
Sogrape Vinhos S.A. is a Portuguese winery founded in 1942 by Fernando van Zeller Guedes, who had the vision to create and develop an innovative wine company with a difference, one which could make and promote Portuguese wines on a global scale. Recognising their great heritage and extensive vintage stock, Sogrape Vinhos acquired Ferreira in 1987 to preserve and enrich the renowned Porto brand. Today, Sogrape Vinhos is still owned by the Guedes family and is run by Fernando Guedes, from the third generation. In 2014, The World Association of Writers and Journalists of Wines and Spirits (WAWWJ) ranked Sogrape Vinhos as 4th best wine producer worldwide.
About the Sotheby’s Port Auction
In addition to the exclusive “Waterloo Port” of 1815, Porto Ferreira will also auction on the night one lot containing five special Vintage Port expressions: The 200-year “age gap” between the lots and the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo:
1. Porto Ferreira 1947 (150cl) – Wedding of HM Queen Elisabeth II
2. Porto Ferreira 1952 (75cl) – HM Queen Elisabeth II Accession to the throne
3. Porto Ferreira 1985 (75cl) – ALSA established
4. Porto Ferreira 1994 (75cl) – A year renowned for an excellent harvest
5. Porto Ferreira 1997 (75cl) – APELA established in Portugal
The auctioneer for this the sale will be Stephen Mould, Senior Director and Head of Wine Department at Sotheby’s.
Porto Ferreira, one of the oldest Port wine houses will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo with an unprecedented charity auction by Sotheby’s at the Tower of London, UK on Thursday 7th May 2015.
The lots include several extraordinary Vintage Ports and an exceptionally rare bottle: the Porto Ferreira Vintage 1815, the year that marks the moment when Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, commanded the British armies to their victory at the battle of Waterloo.
For further information or if you wish to participate in the auction by telephone, please contact Sofia Rodrigues at firstname.lastname@example.org
Unprecedented Port Auction Record
In a new page in Porto Ferreira’s history an unprecedented charity auction by Sotheby’s raised a record $10,000 including the auction of an exceptionally rare bottle of 200-year-old Porto Ferreira Vintage 1815.
Produced in 1815, the so-called “Waterloo Port” honoured Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington’s triumphant military victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Two hundred years later, Porto Ferreira presented a unique opportunity to bid for this rare historic bottle housed in a beautiful, hand-crafted wooden case. Porto Ferreira also auctioned a second lot containing five special Vintage Port expressions commemorating significant years in British, Portuguese and the Porto Ferreira history.
Proceeds Donated to Charity
The $10,000 auction proceeds will be donated to APELA, the Portuguese Association for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), following on the footsteps of Ferreira heir Dona Antónia Ferreira who was renowned for her charitable work throughout her life Fernando Guedes, CEO of Sogrape which owns Ferreira Port said “This auction is the result of three simple factors. Our passion for wine; our respect for history and heritage which we call the luxury of time and raising funds for charity.”