There have been a number of press this month in the Port Trade, including news from the Fladgate Partnership, The Symington Family, Quinta de Roriz, Case de Douro and Real Companhia Velha.
January 3, 2008
The Fladgate Partnership Purchases 25% of the Casa do Douro Stock
For a number of years the Casa do Douro has been searching for a solution to the issue of its high levels of unsold Port and the corresponding levels of debts that it has. There have been a number of attempts to find solutions over the years but until now the Casa do Douro has not made a meaningful sale to any shipper.
The Fladgate Partnership has now agreed to purchase about 25% of its stock, mostly Ports of about 10 years of age. It has decided to take this step as the destiny of the shippers and farmers are intertwined.
The Fladgate Partnership is only the fourth largest shipper with 11.7% of the total Port market volume (behind Symington 22.3%, Porto Cruz 20.5% and Sogrape15.4%) but a more significant percentage of the value share. It is the only Port house to have remained focused on the Port market and not diversified into table wines. This focus on Port is led by the special categories where the company accounts for about 30% of all specialty Ports sold and is the leader in volume and value in Aged Tawnies.
For this it holds the most extensive stocks in the industry and has just completed, in 2007, the building of an additional 3,500 m2 warehouse specially designed for aging Tawnies.
The recent growth in this style of Port is led by strong consumer demand in many countries and is expected to accelerate in the coming years; it may only be restricted by supply. With the growth in demand from the top houses, like Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca, has come more interest in the mid priced range where the group expects to now be able to increase its offer.
In the last decade the entire Port industry has grown the special category sector by 105,000 cases and The Fladgate Partnership has accounted for over 73% of that total growth. Bridge added “I am constantly asked why we are not in the table wine business like all our competitors and the answer is always that we are busy helping to promote the growth of specialty Ports (vintage, LBV, aged tawny). The fact that our company has accounted for three quarters of the growth in the last decade is a testament to our top quality brands and our hard work in maintaining the high standards of quality of our Ports. We have lead the way and increasingly see the industry polarizing between the specialist companies and those who focus on volume for its own sake; the commodity producers.”
Bridge added “We certainly do not need to do this as we have extensive stocks but a company of our experience of selling quality Ports is able to develop a market for these wines. The truth is that over the last few years many shippers have made purchases of these wines and that they have leaked onto the market, sometimes in a disorderly fashion. Our intention in making this investment is to work the wines, which have strong potential, and help to ensure that Aged tawny Ports retain all the quality elements that consumers are looking for. It is an example of how we, the shippers and growers, must work together to help promote this extraordinary unique product that is Port”.
David Guimaraens, the group’s head winemaker stated “Our technical expertise will help to present these wines in a way that is appealing to today’s consumers. This is more about the willingness of our group to help the situation in the Douro and to play our part in leading the sector forward.”
Commenting on the deal, Managing Director Adrian Bridge said “this is an important step that we are taking to help solve a situation that has been overhanging the Port trade for a number of years. Although we are a small specialist company we are providing a strong leadership role in the industry as we believe in the future of Port and are responding to consumer led demand for more Aged Tawny. This deal will help the Casa do Douro solve some of its problems and improve conditions for the farmers in the Douro who are the life blood of the Port industry.
Quinta de Roriz: Joao van Zeller and the Symington Family Separate Amicably
Joao van Zeller and the Symingthon family advise that after seven years of successful association, they have decided, in the interest of both parties, to amicably dissolve their partnership.
Joao van Zeller and the Symington family would like to record their satisfaction at what ahs been achieved at the Quinta and the building of a new winery for the DOC wines in one of the historic buildings of the estate. Futhermore, the partnership has created some excpetional Vintage Ports and DOC red wines at the Quinta and these have been successfully introduced into world markets where they have achieved outstanding ratings by the leading commentators, consolidating the unique identity of the “Quinta de Roriz” brand.
Both Joao van Zeller and the Symington family consider that Quinta de Roriz is now in an excellent postiion to stand alone and to develop further its historical position as one of the Douro’s leading and legendary wine estates.
Joao van Zeller will announce today the composition of the new team who will, in the future, manage Quinta de Roriz, and who will work closely with the Symington Family’s team until June 30th.
The Symington family would also like to express their best wishes for the future succes of Quinta de Roriz.
Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, 24th January 2008
Quinta de Roriz: Joao van Zeller - +351917223597
Quinta de Roriz: João van Zeller and Cristiano van Zeller Form a Partnership
PRESS RELEASE (a tweaked translation from Portuguese)
João van Zeller announced today a partnership with his cousin Cristiano van Zeller, with the aim of giving a new impetus to the projects at Quinta de Roriz, a mythical Douro property, now in its seventh generation of direct descendents from the same family.
This new chapter of the Quinta de Roriz is a test of reversing the trend of consolidation within the Port Wine trade and the Douro. It is another example of sustainability among the pioneers of the great Douro DOC red wines during the last 10-12 years, through the medium-sized companies. These new "players" undoubtedly have a lot of vitality and a reinforced perception of the Demarcated Douro Region and for the Douro brand.
This step takes place during a stage with the current project having reached maturity for Quinta de Roriz, when the processes of production and winemaking are fully integrated, after very large investments were made in vineyards and winemaking stores, which optimized a property whose natural beauty is inimitable.
The perfection of their vineyards’ terroir and quality of its wines has contributed to a strong national and international perception of the Roriz brand and wines. The Quinta de Roriz Reserva 2004 recently was awarded second place among the top 30 Portuguese wines from the Douro and Spain’s Ribera del Duero region, with 94 points, in a blind judging held in Madrid by the most reputable experts from both countries. It was the overall best ranked Portuguese wine.
This new association aims at strengthening the identity of the Quinta de Roriz and its Douro DOC wines and Vintage Port, as well as the effectiveness of their distribution. It will also strengthen the dynamic of the van Zeller’s family as a centerpiece in the history of the Quinta.
The new team selected to work with Quinta de Roriz, is led by Cristiano van Zeller and Sandra Tavares da Silva, whose sole responsibility now is the harvest of 2008.
The talent, with which Cristiano van Zeller and Sandra Tavares da Silva have contributed to the national and international recognition of the Douro region, and the meteoric rise in the high quality and reputation of Douro DOC red wines, provides an important added value for Quinta de Roriz.
Quinta de Roriz, January 24, 2008
The Fladgate Partnership Acquires 25% of Casa do Douro Port Inventory
Jan. 1, 2008 – The Fladgate Partnership, including the Port houses of Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca and Croft, has agreed to purchase approximately 25% of the inventory of the Casa do Douro, the federation of grape growers in the Douro region of Portugal. The purchase of the unsold stock (mostly 10-year old Ports) is a significant step on the part of the Fladgate Partnership to help rescue the bankrupt Casa do Douro and demonstrate that the destinies of the Port shippers and growers are intertwined.
The Casa do Douro has been plagued by high levels of unsold Port and corresponding debt levels. This sale marks the first time the Casa do Douro has made a meaningful sale to any shipper.
According to Adrian Bridge, CEO of the Fladgate Partnership, “We’re helping to solve a situation that has been hanging over the Port trade for a number of years. Although we are a small specialist company, we’re providing a strong leadership role in the industry, as we believe in the future of Port and are responding to consumer-led demand for more Aged Tawny. It is a way to help the Casa do Douro solve some of its problems and improve conditions for the farmers in the Douro, who are the lifeblood of the Port industry.”
David Guimaraens, wine director for the group, added, “Our technical expertise will help present these wines in a way that appeals to today’s consumers. This is more about the willingness of our group to help the Douro and to play our part in leading the sector forward.”
The Fladgate Partnership is the fourth largest shipper with 11.7% of the total Port market volume (behind Symington at 22.3%, Porto Cruz at 20.5% and Sogrape at 15.4%), but a more significant percentage of the value share. It is the only Port house that has remained focused on the Port market and has not diversified into table wines. The Fladgate Partnership anticipates continued growth for its specialty Ports (Vintage, LBV and Aged Tawny), and the purchase of the Casa do Douro inventory will enable the group to meet increased demand for Ports in the mid-price range.
The Ports of The Fladgate Partnership are imported to the U.S. by Kobrand Corporation, Purchase, New York.
Berardo, Casa do Douro and Real Companhia Velha Prepare Big Business
10.01.2008 - 22h56 Pedro Garcias
The direction of the Casa do Douro (CD) will make known tomorrow to the Minister of Agriculture, Jaime Silva, the terms of the business that is preparing with the entrepreneur Joe Berardo and that also involves a Real Companhia Velha. The governor, who has maintained tense relations with the institution Duriense, received its management, headed by Manuel Antonio dos Santos, in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, where he will meet with associations in the sector and the local authority.
THE PUBLIC know what is on the table a business of large proportions, not only to pass the sale by the CD, the majority of the participation of 40 per cent holding in Real Companhia Velha. Joe Berardo confirmed today that the PUBLIC want to create a company, in the Douro worldwide and can do it through an association with Real Companhia Velha "or other" big business, according advanced without forward names. "In the coming days, there will be news," he said.
Everything indicates that may be prepared to be a large company to create between Real Companhia Velha, Casa do Douro and Berardo, in which the second would be in a position minority. Berardo come with money and CD with the "stock" of wine and participation in the Real Companhia Velha. The very participation average of 33.5 Berardo that holds the Sogrape can be incorporated, now or later, in the new company in order to give it more dimension.
The chairman of the CD met yesterday in Lisbon with the entrepreneur Madeira and next Saturday will seek permission to Agrarian Council to proceed with the deal. On Monday, Joe Berardo will be received by Jaime Silva and next Wednesday and Thursday, after the General Assembly of the BCP, will be in the Douro to know a little better the region.
Berardo will make a substantial investment in the Douro, but does not want to clash with the Minister of Agriculture and the projects that the governor and the Institute of Wine Douro and Porto (IVDP) have for the region. One of the main problems is the "sctok" wines from the Port of CD - about 25 thousand barrels. Jaime Silva and IVDP fear that the entry of a large quantity of wine on the market may put at risk the efforts to reduce the stock of the sector carried out in the past five years.
Around three thousand barrels per year is the maximum amount that for the IVDP; should enter the market. But only in recent weeks the CD sold around 14 thousand barrels to the group of Taylor `to the Gran Cruz, which caused some concern in the sector.
Casa do Douro Sells Participation in the Real Companhia Velha to Global Wines
January 12, 2008 - Publico Newspaper
The Casa do Douro (CD) will sell 51 per cent of the participation of 40 per cent holding in Real Companhia Velha to the Global Wines, the new holding company created by the Dão Sul to manage all investments of the group in Portugal and abroad, particularly in the Brazil. The revelation of the business, which will lead to great new company in the Douro, will be made this morning by the Regional counsil of CD is a great surprise, as everything indicated, as had PUBLIC advance, which would be the partner Joe Berardo .
The businessman Joe Berardo will also invest in the Douro, but through the purchase of some wines to the CD and other companies with the aim of creating a great company in the region.
Entry into the Real Companhia Velha of Global Wines has been agreed between the three parties involved, so this is a strategic deal that allows the Global enter the business of Port wine and Real expand its position in table wines. For its part, the CD fits with some money and is a major, although minority in a company even greater. For the purchase of the 51 percent of the participation of the CD, a Global Wines will pay around € 15.5 million, which corresponds to a significant devaluation of the investment made by the CD. For 40 per cent of Real Companhia Velha, the CD paid in 1990, including interest, around 70 million euros. But it is not true that 51 per cent of such participation that the CD is proposed now sell is a bad deal. The bad deal, that yes, did so in 1990.
With this combination, the CD will have a bigger market for about 25 thousand barrels of wine that still has the Port and the Douro region wins a new large operator. "