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Visiting Taylor’s in Porto


The story of Taylor’s starts with Job Bearsley arriving in Porto in 1692, he was initially in the red wine trade. Job first born son Peter would also come to live in Porto and so did Peters three sons Bartholomew, Charles and Francis. Francis Bearsley outlived all his brothers and remained a partner in the Oporto house for 61 years from 1744 until his death in 1805.

After Francis’ death there was no suitable family members to run the business and those who tried failed and had to give in. In 1808, as Napoleon advanced in his war, it was clear that all property was better to not be on British hand, in the interest of preserving it.

A American descented from Turkey, John Camo would take over ownership and run the company from 1808 to 1812 where his largest challenges was getting shipments of port to Britain despite the war raging.

Joseph Taylor, who had already been in the London part of the business for a long while, took over the lead of company, he became sole owner in 1826. In 1835 he looked for successors and had Morgan Yeatman, a wine trader from Britain and John Fladgate a son of a contact in sight to run the company. John moved to  Oporto in 1836 and signed the contact with the new company name in 1838 with Morgan Yeatman. Taylor Fladgate & Yeatman. John focused on the wine making and Morgan on the business.

The rest of the story is even longer and should be read on Taylor’s own website


The collection of old bottles that you will see at every port house.

GS6A1747A view of the very cask inspired and in casks constructed bar.

GS6A1748GS6A1750Taylor’s have a serious and stunning amount of large vats.

GS6A1752GS6A1753These vats hold around 6000 to 16000 Litre of port.

GS6A1754GS6A1756As long as the lodges are, just as long are the endless rows of casks.

GS6A1757The largest vat in Vila Nova de Gaia, holding in about 100000 Litre of port.

GS6A1759A view from the terrace around the bar. A view of the roofs of the many Taylor’s cellars.


Visiting Offley in Porto


Offley was founded in London in 1737 by William Offley, the company started out as a wine merchant, Offley was soon exporting wines and later began to produce its own Porto Wine.

Joseph James Forrester joined the company in the 1830’s and his entire adult life in Portugal was devoted to the Douro river and Porto Wine. Forrester was the first to chart the Douro River and Valley, an accomplishment that earned him recognition from and entry into various European Geography and Art societies.

Sogrape Vinhos merged with Forrester & Cª., Holder of Offley.


Offley have very long and what seems to be endless cellars of casked port.

GS6A1764Some of the tunnels have a slightly lower temperature than those under the wooden roofs.

GS6A1765GS6A1766The large vats with 13000 Litre of Tawny port in each.

GS6A1767More casks with Tawny port.


Visiting Graham’s in Porto

Graham’s was founded in 1820 by the brothers William and John Graham.

In 1890 they made a far sighted move and as one of the first port producers, they bought their own wine yard. The now famous Quinta dos Malvedos. It was the same year they built their lodge at its current location in Vila Nova de Gaia.

In 1912 they switched from transporting the pipes of port by boat to have it driven down by train on the newly constructed rail roads.

In 1970 Graham’s was bought by the Symington family and is at present day still in their possession.

The main entrance to the Graham’s wine cellars.
The almost obligatory wine bottle collection that can be found at all the port cellars.
The tour leads through the casks and vats to the vintage cellar.
This is the private collection of Graham’s own vintage wines, owned by the Symington family.
This is the private collection of Graham’s own vintage wines, owned by the Symington family.
This is the private collection of Graham’s own vintage wines, owned by the Symington family.
The newly released 1952 single harvest tawny. A celebration to the jubilee of Queen Elisabeth II.
The large vats with LBV wines.
Casks with colheita and tawny port wines.
Casks with colheita port wines.
The Churchill VIP tasting room is worth the visit, actually I must say that it is a shame to miss this room full of all the original cellar tracking records and the very good wines you get to taste here.