Sandeman Porto: A Family Tradition
For more than 200 years Sandeman has handed down expertise from generation to generation to maintain the excellence of their wines, appreciated around the world for their quality and taste, mystery and seduction.
In 1790 George Sandeman, an ambitious young Scotsman from Perth, founded a wine business in London. With a £300 loan he bought his first wine cellar and started trading in Porto and Sherry from Tom's Coffee House.
By 1795, he had established an agency in Cadiz, Spain and in 1811 he purchased an ageing cellar in V.N. Gaia in Portugal. In the early 1800s Sandeman wines were shipped to countries within Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and even as far as New Zealand.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century "brand" names were largely unheard of but Sandeman wanted to give their customers a guarantee of quality so it became the first company to brand a cask. In 1805, Sandeman started fire-branding their trademark GSC (George Sandeman & Co.) in a crow's foot design on all pipes they sold, thus giving the wine a name that assured quality. In the 1880s they were among the first Porto Houses to export bottled and labeled wines. The Sandeman brand was registered as a trademark in 1877 (First Trademark Registrations Act) making it one of the oldest in the world.
Building a Brand
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Sandeman wanted to tell the world of their fine wines and so became among the first wine companies to label and advertise its wines. In 1905 press marketing began, followed by more substantial advertising campaigns. In 1928 George Massiot Brown created The Don. Dressed in a Portuguese student's cape and wide-brimmed hat, The Don cuts a dark, dramatic figure with his glass of ruby colored Porto. This powerful image has been an integral part of both bottle labels and advertising since the early 1930s.
Visit Sandeman online to view vintage ads and posters featuring The Don.