There are some exciting announcements this month, including some significant new partnerships, and Port industry news.


I am very pleased to announce that FTLOP has entered into a licensing agreement with Vinfolio and within a matter of days, we will be up and running together. My tasting notes will now appear on their website and provide their clients with a wonderful new resource. Vinfolio already has Burghound and a few other key experts in their field, providing TNs for them.

Based in San Francisco, Vinfolio sells fine wine and services to wine collectors and enthusiasts. Its guiding principle is "Fine wine, finer service," demonstrating Vinfolio's unparalleled level of personalized customer service and collector services. Vinfolio's wine store is seamlessly integrated with collector services, all designed to make the wine buying, selling and collecting experience effortless and enjoyable. From an extensive selection of fine wine to VinCellar™, its online cellar management software, to collector services (including on-site inventorying and full-service storage), Vinfolio delivers "Fine wine, finer service".

As part of my partnership with Vinfolio, For the Love of Port scores and reviews are available online in a searchable format through Vinfolio's online store. Additionally, FTLOP PP (Partnership Program) members, my reviews are integrated into VinCellar.

Vinfolio makes it simple to find the wine you like by giving users the ability to search all wines by price, region, varietal and reviewer then sort searches by year, score, price and availability (in stock or prearrival). For wines not available in the store, users can request a quote at no cost and no obligation to purchase. Using Vinfolio's free online cellar management software, VinCellar™, you'll be able to manage your wine collection and if you are a FTLOP PP member, access FTLOP content simultaneously - which means all of my reviews, scores, producer notes, and drink dates can be viewed within the context of your personal collection.

VinCellar, Vinfolio's free online cellar management software, is intuitive, easy to learn and simple to use. It provides users with a simplified way to track all aspects of a collection including valuation, with the various components all integrated under the umbrella of managing wine: buying wine, selling wine, drinking wine, learning about wine, storing and keeping track of wine. The VinCellar software, for example, offers an easy way to enter and track wine, including vintage and regional information; quantity and cost details; physical location detail; pre-arrival status and details on all purchases; and wines offered for sale. It also allows users to take advantage of integrated professional review content and wine valuation data within the context of their own collection.

Visit the site to set up your free VinCellar account. To integrate FTLOP reviews into your VinCellar account, register or log into Vinfolio, go to My Account, click on Register Content Subscriptions under Account Settings and input your FTLOP PP (Partnership Program) username and password.


In another wonderful development that has been in the works for the past two months, I have decided to take a bold step and become the first (that I am aware of) to launch a collaborative approach to wine Forum interactivity.  FTLOP will provide full access to our friends Peter Reutter and his brother Hans, and their brilliant Madeira web site (the best in the world in my opinion!) Madeira Wine Guide. Coming in April, we will share our technology and both websites will simultaneously offer the Madeira Forum and Marketplace Forum to their users. We will enable access through our websites and have a much more active Madeira community. I am very much looking forward to see how this works out and I believe that this joint venture will provide the best of both worlds, Port and Madeira the two extraordinary fortified dessert wines from Portugal. Please join me in welcoming the Madeira Wine Guide Forum users and make them feel right at home!


For The Love Of Port received some very positive press in a recent feature on Port and other beverages on the Conde Nast travel website: Have a look at Adam Skolnick’s article on Drink Globally.


Joe Berardo purchased 31.5% of a company named "Guedes, Carmo & Silva SGPS, Lda" which is the holding company for Sogrape, in the 4th quarter of 2006. Now, Mr. Berardo is in the midst of an attempt to purchase 40% of Royal Oporto (Real Companhia Velha) which is currently owned by Casa do Douro, the other 60% is owned by the Silva Reis family.

Mr. Berardo has also shown interest to buy the old Tawny stocks of Casa do Douro. He is not the only interested party trying to obtain these old stocks, with holdings of 22 million liters! There are several other Port companies who are currently involved in the process. The old Tawnies date from 1934-2001 and are very valuable. Berardo is already the owner of another wine company based in Setubal which is called, Quinta da Bacalhoa.

As recently as Saturday, March 24th, Joe Berardo finalized his negotiations to purchase Caves Alianca. He paid 10 million Euros for this purchase and Caves Alianca has an annual cash flow of 15 million Euros, with its trading of 8 million bottles per year from Vinho Verde, Douro, Dão, Bairrada, Alentejo, Beiras. Mr. Berardo is a brilliant entrepreneur and an impressive individual with a serious interest in wine company ownership. Sources: Assorted Portuguese media, thanks to Mario Rui Silva Ferreira who assisted me with the translations.