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Sandeman Ports and Wines:
|* Sandeman wine label - The World Wine Encyclopedia|
|* Sandeman wines - The Sotheby's Guide to Classic Wines & their Labels|
|* Sandeman wines - The Oxford Companion to Wine (Jancis Robinson)|
|* Sandeman wines - The Aperitif Companion, by Andrew Jones|
|* Sandeman wines - Tom's Coffee House, according to Edward Walford|
|* Sandeman wines - Sherry, by H. Warner Allen|
|* Sandeman wines - Port, Oporto, & Portugal, by Frederick Challoner|
|* Sandeman wines - Sandeman sherry - Issued by George Sandeman & Sons|
|* Sandeman wines - Port and Sherry: the story of two fine wines - Published by George G. Sandeman & Co.|
|* Sandeman wine operation in Sydney|
The House of Sandeman Visit the modern-day Sandeman ports and wines company webpage
See an online copy of a Sandeman port poster
You can e-mail me at: email@example.com
Largo Miguel Bombarda 3
4400 Vila Nova de Gaia
PORTUGAL Tel: 0011 351 2 3740500
Vineyards 280 hectares (692 acres)
Sandeman took over Robertson’s and Rebello Valente in 1881 and has since added the houses of Diez Hermanoz, Offley Forrester and Rodriguez Pinho, and is itself now controlled by Seagram. Vintage Port sold under the Sandeman brand is usually firm, fruity and of good, but not deep, colour.
SANDEMAN. Although more famous for its Ports, the house of Sandeman was established in 1790, not in Vila Nova de Gaia, nor in Jerez de la Fontera, but in London by George Sandeman, who set up an import business specializing in both Port and Sherry. Eventually Sandeman decided to make a stake in both regions as a producer; the move to Jerez took place in 1879, some 38 years after the firm had acquired a lodge in Oporto. Sandeman have always produced a well-appreciated range of Sherries, and its finest products include the intensely flavoured yet fragrant and fine Bone Dry Old Amontillado, the super-concentrated, well-polished Dry Old Oloroso and the extraordinary, complex Dry Old Palo Cortado.
SANDEMAN, port and sherry house with one of the most famous logos in the wine trade, the black Sandeman Don. It was founded in London by a Scotsman, George Sandeman, who in 1790 established his shipping business with a £300 loan from his father. He began by shipping sherry and moved swiftly on to port, travelling frequently to Spain and Portugal, and trading in Tom’s Coffee House in Cornhill, London. In 1809 George Sandeman established an office in Cadiz and shipped wines under the Sandeman name. In 1879 the company took over all the assets, vineyards, bodegas, and wine stocks of a bankrupted sherry producer. Sandeman made its headquarters in St. Swithin’s Lane, where it remained until 1969. The famous trade mark, Sandeman Don, was created in 1928. Chairman Walter Albert Sandeman pioneered advertising for his brand with great success. Sandeman became a public company in 1952, although it was increasingly vulnerable to a take-over bid. Eventually it was sold to the North American multinational corporation Seagram in 1980 for £17 million. The following decade saw an increasing emphasis on quantity rather than quality. Sandeman’s Founder’s Reserve is now the biggest selling BRAND of port in North America. In 1991 George Sandeman (representing the seventh generation of the family to make port) moved to OPORTO to take control, becoming the first Sandeman to live in Portugal. The company’s vineyard holdings in the DOURO are being reorganized, with the less promising land put up for sale. A 1988 single-quinta port...from the highly rated Quinta do Vau was released in 1993.
The company, the fourth biggest sherry producer, owns nearly 400 ha/988 acres of Sandeman’s sherry business is today equal to port, in terms of both volume and value. vineyards in the JEREZ region.
Halley, N. Sandeman: Two Hundred Years of Port and Sherry (London, 1990)
Mayson, R. Portugal’s Wine and Winemakers (London, 1992)
...... Another famous poster, known as "The Don," proved immensely versatile. It was sold to Sandeman, the port and sherry house, by an anonymous salesman in September 1928. It shows the shadowy silhouette of a man wearing a sombrero, said to represent sherry, and a Portugese student’s cloak, to denote port. At the time, it was the vogue to use French posters, but the artist concerned was a struggling Scot named George Massiot Brown. He colluded with the salesman to pretend that he was French, abbreviated George to the initial G. suggested that Massiot should be pronounced with a French accent, and dispensed with Brown, completing the character by signing the poster G. Massiot. The figure in the poster bore a similarity to the screen character known as "Zorro," and it was later discovered that the artist, who was a dedicated movie buff, had created the work in the same week that "The Gaucho," the third of the Zorro films, premiered in London.
Sandeman bought the poster for 50 guineas ($87.40) and had two versions printed. In the first, the figure held a sherry glass containing straw-coloured sherry, and in the second, the figure held a glass full of rich, red port. Three years later, Royal Doulton produced porcelain figures of the Don. In 1933, the poster was reprinted as the world’s largest of its kind, measuring 130 X 29.25 feet. "The Don" was adopted by Sandeman as its logo, and a giant cut-out of the sherry version could be seen just outside Jerez de la Frontera, and a similar, port-drinking Don on the outskirts of Porto. pp.37-38, accompanied by an illustration in colour.
Old Cauliflower Ears
In 1790, George Sandeman left Perth in Scotland for the City of London, and began trading in port from a somewhat disreputable establishment called Tom’s Coffee House. He is reputed to have been the first person to ship a vintage port in 1791, and a few years later, he extended his activities to shipping sherry. He was known as "Old Cauliflower Ears" because of his eccentric appearance and protruding ears.
Sandeman is best known for its popular blended ports, and two of these, Sandeman White Port and Sandeman Imperial Tawny, are ideal as aperitifs. Sandeman White Port is produced from white grapes, using the latest in modern wine-making techniques. The juice is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats to retain the fresh, fruity flavors, and the wine is then fortified to 20 percent alcohol by volume (abv).
Sandeman Imperial Tawny is a superior, well-aged tawny produced from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barocca, and Tinta Cao grapes, which are grown either in Sandeman’s own vineyards, or on the farms of growers who have supplied the company for generations.
COMPOSITION Wine from the delimited vineyards of the Douro Valley, and neutral grape alcohol.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Portugal
WHERE PRODUCED Douro Valley, Portugal
PRIME MARKETS France, Belgium, USA, UK, and Japan
VISITORS Sandeman has an excellent visitor center alongside its head office on the quayside in Villa Nova de Gaia. It also has a visitor facility upstream in the Douro Valley. Contact Joao on: (351-2) 3706816
pp.168-169 The book also has three illustrations, and serving instructions.
A 200-Year-Old Business
Shortly after the founder of the house, George Sandeman, began trading in port wine in 1790, the growing interest in sherry came to his attention, so he traveled to Jerez de la Frontera to make shipping arrangements. The development of his business coincided with the ascendancy of Napoleon, when many countries who were hostile to French imperialism began shipping sherry and port for two reasons: the unavailability of French wine, and a strong reluctance to trade with the French.
COMPOSITION Flor, white wine and neutral-grape alcohol from the official Jerez region.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Spain
WHERE PRODUCED Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
PRIME MARKETS Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, USA, and Japan
AWARDS The royal warrant to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England
VISITORS Sandeman has a popular visitor center at Jerez de la Frontera.
Contact Ms. Pilar Muñoz;
Telephone: (34-56) 303534
Sandeman Don Fino is made from 100 percent palomino grapes, and fortified with neutral-grape brandy.
The exact winemaking technique for Sandeman Soleo is believed to involve palomino and moscatel grapes.
Sandeman Character is a medium-dry amontillado.
Sandeman Armada Cream is a blend of olorosos and PX wine. pp.186-187 An illustration and serving suggestion accompany this text.
Of "Tom’s" coffee-house we know that Akenside was a frequenter in the winter evenings, and that Pope here addresses a letter to Fortescue, the "counsel learned in the law." Another of its frequenters was Dr. Birch, the antiquary. Vol. 3 page 65
Hard by was another coffee-house of some note, "The Grecian." The street is now known as Devereux Court, and it was once the site of Essex House. St. John Adcock, in Wonderful London (London, Fleetway House, n.d.), says:
Devereux Court, in the Strand, is a quiet decorous lane with, at the inner end of it, the Devereux Tavern, which used to be the Grecian Coffee House, and has over its doorway the bust of Lord Essex, which was over the doorway of the Grecian.
Before the coffee-house was transformed into a tavern, Sir Isaac Newton, Addison, Steele, Goldsmith and other men of learning and literature used it as one of their meeting-places. But the Court is made grisly for us by a less important ghost, who was probably named FitzGerald, and who comes into it by way of an anecdote of Dr. King’s. "I remember two gentlemen who were constant companions," says Dr. King, "disputing one evening at the Grecian Coffee House concerning the accent of a Greek word. The dispute was carried to such a length that the two friends thought proper to determine it with their swords. For this purpose they stept out into Devereux Court, where one of them--whose name, if I remember right, was FitzGerald--was run through the body and died on the spot." Consequently, even Twining’s tea warehouse, whose back door opens into it, cannot keep the court so severely business-like as it ought to be.
Volume 3 page 927. Picture on page 923
Wine Library. Edited by André L. Simon)
SANDEMAN BROS. & CO.
This firm was certainly importing Sherry to England before 1800, and in 1805 was acting as agents in Great Britain for Messrs. W. Lacosta, of Jerez. On August 19th, 1805, just before the Battle of Trafalgar, Messrs. Sandeman sent out a circular, which has been preserved, advising their customers that an armed convoy was going out to Spain and suggesting that it was a good opportunity for ordering some of Lacosta’s Sherries.
A little later a change was made, and they became agents for the firm of Julian Pemartin, whose representatives they remained until the early seventies, when they took over the entire firm with its stock of wines, vineyards, residences and properties. The business has chiefly specialised in he very finest Sherries, and in the Milton Abbey sale of September, 1932, one dozen of Sandeman’s Very Fine Old Sherry fetched £10.
After the war the firm had considerably to increase its storage space in Jerez and acquired further vineyards, including the famous "Corregidor" property on the albariza soil, on the higher ground of the Jerez district. This year, in order to house the "mostos" and to provide for further increase in the stocks of Fine Wines, further building was necessary, and one of the largest bodegas in Jerez, with a capacity of 3,000 butts, has just been completed. Page 115 This book has a good fold-out map of Jerez de la Frontera and the sherry district of Portugal.
After describing his voyage to Portugal, his arrival at Porto, and the valley of the Douro, Mr. Challoner writes of the vineyards there. He says:
The cultivation of the vine and the making of the wine are chiefly in the hands of the Portugese, who in due course transport the wine by rail or river to Oporto, where its treatment and exportation have been for hundreds of years in the hands of British merchants ("shippers") to a greater extent than any other trade outside the United Kingdom and its Colonies.
As long ago as the year 1446 special privileges were granted by the King of Portugal to English merchants trafing in his dominions, who built in 1790 a British Factory House, or Club House, now known as the "British Association"--a fine granite building with a spacious vestibule, a banqueting-hall, and a ball-room. This institution boasts of a chaplain, who administers to the British colony generally.
At the present time the bulk of the exportation of Douro Port is in the hands of English firms, of whom there are about a dozen, most of them doing a thriving trade all the world over.
The demand in England alone, however, far exceeds the supply of wine of the finest quality, such as is produced at Quinta do Noval and other leading vineyards in the same favoured district. It is therefore necessary and has been the custom for a great many years, to blend together the produce of various farms, and thereby to make a large quantity of wine of average and uniform quality, each shipper using his knowledge and experience to produce his own "Vintage Port" of the finest quality possible, having regard to the quantity necessary to satisfy the demand.
The pure, unblended produce of the finest vineyards (Quintas) of the Alto Douro, and of a good "vintage" year, is but little known in this country, and when met with it realises a considerably higher price than any shippers’ wine of the same vintage, in spite of lack of the kudos of a "well-known name," as I witnessed some years ago, when a large bin of Special Quinta Port of 1878 vintage was put up to auction at Christie’s; and with nothing to recommend it but the year, the date of bottling, and its own merits, it fetched about 10s. more than the then market price of the finest shippers’ 1878 Ports; and more recently a special Quinta Port of 1870, bottled by Messrs. David Sandeman and Son, of Glasgow and London, was sold at 20s. per dozen more than the price of shippers’ Ports of that vintage; but such wines are rarely met with.
Reprinted from The Wine and Spirit Trade Record.
SANDEMAN’S OF LONDON AND JEREZ DE
LA FRONTERA, SPAIN
ALMOST from the foundation of the Sandeman Firm in 1790 the name has figured prominently in the Sherry Trade, but it appears that George Sandeman, the Founder, had not formed any direct connection with Spain much before 1796.
Although he must have been considerably hampered in his undertakings by the Wars he was a pronounced optimist, if one can judge from a letter written by him in London to his sister Jeanie in Perth, on 14th May 1790, in the course of which he says:
....I shall remain where I am till I shall have made a moderate fortune to retire with, which I expect will be in the course of nine years. One may see the marks of thriving in every line of my face. I eat like a man for a wager. People stand out of my way as they see me bustling along the streets. I have a good word to say to everybody I meet, and as I am informed I frequently laugh in my sleep.....
Six months later he informs his father by letter, dated 29th November, 1790, that he has rented a Wine cellar.
His father, George Sandeman, Senior, of Perth (born 1724, died 1833) and his eldest brother David George Sandeman had undertaken to advance him the sum of £300 for this very purpose, and he is somewhat disturbed in case the loan should embarrass his brother who was also on the point of entering the Wine Trade in Perth.
The two brothers joined forces, and for some years worked closely together; George in London, and David George in Scotland with his headquarters at Perth. In course of time, however, they separated, George Sandeman remaining in the Wine Trade and David George leaving to devote his energies to banking and insurance in Scotland.
THE FOUNDER "LOOKS FORWARD"
From a book in two volumes, entitled "An introduction to Merchandize," in which is written in childish handwriting "George Sandeman 1780 Jan 18," we know that at the age of 15 he was preparing himself for a merchant’s career, and that the optimism expressed to his sister in 1790 was not ill-founded is proved by the fact that on 12th October, 1797 (only seven years after starting in business), the Freedom of his native City of Perth was conferred upon him by his appreciative fellow citizens.
From a "Recapitulation" of his Sherry business for 1792, in the Firm’s books, we find that he had, durung that year, sold 127½ butts in England and 25½ butts in Scotland.
In 1796 he was representing in England one James Duff of Cadiz, and he was offering the latter’s Sherries by printed circulars sent out from "Tom’s Coffee House" (1) in Cornhill and later, from his offices at 24 Old Jewry.
SANDEMAN’S AT 20 ST. SWITHIN’S LANE THE SAME YEAR
George Sandeman continued to represent James Duff of Cadiz until 1805, when he moved his Firm’s business to 20 St. Swithin’s Lane (the present offices of the Company), and took over the representation of the then important firm of Sherry Shippers, W. Lacosta & Lagarde, of Jerez de la Frontera.
This lasted until 1809, by which time the Firm’s Sherry business had increased to such an extent that they sent one of the partners, James Gooden, to take up his residence in Cadiz and the Sandeman Firm for the first time started shipping Sherries in their own name.
This arrangement continued for some years, but meanwhile the Firm in London had entered largely into the business of Merchant Bankers, and this, combined with the severe illness of James Gooden, and their growing interests in Portugal, impelled them to withdraw temporarily from Spain.
Owing to the splendid connection, however, that had been built up, they were able to secure in 1823 the agency of the House of Pemartin, established in Jerez de la Frontera by Julian Pemartin in 1818, whose stocks of fine Sherries were by now second to none.
The Sandeman Firm held this Agency, uninterruptedly, for the next fifty years, and on the dissolution of the Pemartin business in 1879, they acquired, by purchase, the whole of his assets, including property, goodwill, trade marks, offices, and practically all his magnificent stocks of Wines.
LOUIS XIV CHATEAU
Included in the purchase was the Louis XIV Château of Don Julian Pemartin, designed by Garnier (the architect of the Paris Opera House), together with its fine collection of antique pictures and furniture.
This Château for nearly fifty years was used by the Sandeman Firm’s Resident Partner in Jerez. In 1927 it was sold to the Duque d’Abrantes, in whose possession it still is, and since then a secondary house has furnished a residence for the Firm’s English Manager.
It will be seen, therefore, that the Sandeman Firm, in 1879 recommenced shipping their own Sherries which they had originally begun doing as long ago as in 1809.
Under the expert guidance of Don Ramon Rodil y Diaz (one of the leading Sherry "maestros" of Jerez) Sandeman’s have added continuously to the original stocks of fine Sherries acquired from Julian Pemartin nearly sixty years ago.
Since the War they have been compelled to increase their storage space by erecting new Bodegas of a total capacity of over five thousand butts, as well as by renting many more......
(1) Using a coffee-house as headquarters from which to transact business in Wines may seem somewhat strange to merchants nowadays, but many will doubtless recall that Lloyd’s Coffee House in connection with the Royal Exchange was established in 1772 and was the resort of eminent merchants, underwriters, insurance brokers, etc., of that time. Tom’s Coffee House was in Birchin Lane, Cornhill, and though in the main a mercantile resort, acquired some celebrity from its having been frequented by Garrick, the leading tragic actor of his time, who, to keep up an interest in the city, appeared here about twice in a winter at ‘Change time, when it was a rendezvous of young merchants. John Ashton, in his two-volume work on "Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne," on p.267 gives a list of coffee-houses and mentions no fewer than six coffee-houses denoted as "Tom’s." The one in Birchin Lane, however, is therein distinguished as "Old Tom’s."
George G. Sandeman & Co., Limited, (1955) Introduction by Patrick
PORT AND SHERRY
The historical background
of Port wine
The story of Port wine should, we think, open with some historical references. That the trade in wine between Great Britain and Portugal is of ancient origin is evidenced by the fact that it can be traced back to the days of barter between seafarers of the two countries.
It was in 1308 that the first Anglo-Portugese Commercial Treaty was concluded; and this was superseded by the Treaty of 1353 which among its provisions permitted Portugese fishermen to fish off the English coast. There is evidence that this led to the exchange of wine (which the Portugese carried for their own consumption) for British goods. This wine was not, however, Port wine as we know it now (the character of which was developed later), but was an unfortified table wine which is still drunk throughout Portugal.
Thereafter successive Agreements culminated in the Treaty of Windsor which was signed in London on 9 May 1386. This treaty envisaged a lasting alliance and reciprocal military aid between the two countries. From this time England enjoyed many trading facilities with Portugal, and was regarded by the Portugese as a commercially favoured nation. By 1578 the export of Portugese wine to England from Viana do Castelo, a small town on the coast some fifty miles north of Oporto, had become sufficiently important to warrant the appointment of a British consul there. It was not, however, until about 1670 that wines from the Douro region were exported in any appreciable quantity.
There is little doubt that the treaty negotiated by The Rt. Hon. John Methuen and signed on 27 December 1703 (which came to be known as the Methuen Treaty) had a most invigorating effect on the import of Portugese wines into Britain in that it conceded lower duty charges than those imposed on French and German wines.
In 1755 a Spanish merchant, one Don Bartoleme Pancorvo initiated the Oporto Wine Company. This virtual monopoly was, however, strongly opposed by British traders, and failed in the year of its foundation. But in the following year the powerful Marquis of Pombal revived and amended the scheme that had failed and it continued to function with varying vicissitudes (which included armed attack and incendiarism) until 1833.
Among the many regulations which he propounded was one which has had lasting beneficial effects. We refer to the geographical demarcation of what is now the famous ‘Douro District’. The underlying intention of this demarcation was to ear-mark that area of the Douro valley from which the finest wines emanate, thereby ensuring the quality of Port wine produced for export. That the original limits of the prescribed area were quickly decreased, it being found that they embraced terrain in which certain inferior table wines were grown, and the fact that many subsequent reductions have been made, does not detract one iota from the Marquis’s admirable intention.
The present officially demarcated area of the Douro district extends from some sixty miles up river from Oporto, and roughly between the village of Mezâo Frio in the West, to Barca d’Alva on the Spanish frontier in the East, a total area of some 1250 square miles.
Despite this undoubted benefaction to present-day consumers of Port wine, The Oporto Wine Company was deprived of its powers in May 1834, and a period of commercial freedom ensued during which trade declined until 1838, when Queen Maria II reinstated it in a very modified form.
With the passage of time however, this company (in any form) became less and less acceptable to both British traders and Douro wine farmers, until it was expunged finally in 1858. It should however be recorded that, during its régime ‘The Company’ eliminated doubtful methods of production which had threatened, to which extent it served posterity well.
In December 1888 the idea of forming yet another Government sponsored and subsidized Monopoly Company was mooted, but it came to nothing.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HOUSE OF SANDEMAN
For historical facts of a more intimate nature, we revert now to the year 1790 in which George Sandeman, a member of an old Scottish family, first recorded in Alyth in 1594, founded the House of Sandeman in London.
That he was a man of ambition, determination and abounding confidence is shown by a letter which he wrote to his sister in May 1790. Therein he declared that he would not return to Perth (of which city he became a freeman) until he had made a moderate fortune with which to retire, and to accomplish that end he allowed himself nine years unless, as he said: "some fortunate circumstance should reduce the time to five or six years.’
Abundantly optimistic as he was, he can hardly have imagined that the business of his modest wine vault, to assist him in the purchase of which his father had lent him £300, would grow to world-wide proportions, with vast Port wine lodges in Oporto, and extensive Sherry bodegas at Jerez.
Until 1796 George Sandeman had his brother David with him, but by 1798 the partnership had been amicably dissolved, and David Sandeman devoted his energies to founding the Commercial Bank of Scotland.
The establishment of George Sandeman’s business came at a most opportune time. Troubles in France, in 1788, had fostered the importation of Portugese wines to replace those from France which had been favoured in Britain previously. And this trend was furthered by the preferential treatment accorded by the Methuen Treaty, to which we have referred.
It was fortunate for him also, that towards the end of the eighteenth century, the conditions essential to the production of fine Port wine had been discovered; and by 1790 this knowledge had been applied to Douro wines to the extent that they became firm favourites with the English.
It was auspicious also that the origin of the House of Sandeman coincided with the appearance of true Vintage Port as we know it; and George Sandeman shipped the 1790 vintage, which was exemplary of Port wine at its best.
George Sandeman transacted his business for a short time at ‘Tom’s’ coffee-house in Birchin Lane, Cornhill, in the City of London. This may seem strange by modern standards, but it was customary during the eighteenth century for city merchants and businessmen to do considerable business in London’s many coffee-houses; and it was in fact in ‘Lloyd’s’ coffee-house that the now world-famous Insurance Institution of that name was born in 1770.
George Sandeman rented his own offices later at 24 Old Jewry; and despite The Peninsular War and other continental turmoils, he travelled considerably in both Portugal and Spain where the future of his business lay. While thus engaged he made many friends in the British Army amongst which he numbered the Duke of Wellington of whom he was a frequent guest.
By 1805 he was able to secure the lease of 20 St. Swithins Lane as offices and wine vaults, together with the adjoining premises 13 Sherborne Lane, as a residence for himself and his family. These premises which back one upon the other, are still the headquarters of the Company.
George Sandeman who was the last man to go on ‘Change’ in breeches and top boots, and wore also a white wig from which he was nicknamed ‘Old Cauliflower’, died in Brussels in 1841; and was succeeded by his nephew George Glas Sandeman (1792-1868), who widened the scope of the business in several directions.
These included insurance and the export of linen and Manchester cotton goods to the West Indies, Central America and Mexico. The new undertakings were not, however, to the detriment of his wine business, which continued to flourish to the extent that the Firm then ran its own clipper the Hoopoe between Oporto and the east coast ports of England.
This 86-ton sgip, built in 1865, remained in the Company’s service till circa 1875, when she was sold.
It would appear that her Master, one R. Crathorn, took delight in making rapid passages to such an extent that the cost of repairing her sheets made her uneconomical as a means of transport. The Hoopoe was subsequently posted missing outward bound from Prawle in Devon, on 3 October 1878.
Albert George Sandeman (1833-1923) his eldest son, succeeded George Glas Sandeman in 1868 and took his three brothers into partnership. One of them, Colonel John Glas Sandeman, had the honour as a subaltern of the 1st Royal Dragoons, of taking part in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava. It is interesting to record also, that it was he who with the aid of a mechanic, one Everett, invented the-penny-in-the-slot machine, which was patented in their combined names. Albert George Sandeman strengthened the family connection with the Peninsula, when in 1856 he married the eldest daughter of the Visconte da Torre de Moncorvo, than Ambassador at the Court of St. James.
A man of considerable business acumen and drive, he was a Director of the Bank of England and was created its Governor in 1896 and 1897.
The Partnership which he had formed was converted into a Private Limited Company in 1902, and it was as head of this Company that his eldest son Walter Albert Sandeman (1858-1937) succeeded him in 1923. Under his Chairmanship this old-fashioned family business was brought into line with modern commercial practice. And by harnessing the benefits of advertising to good products, he secured a world-wide goodwill for the name of Sandeman. Towards this end, the acquisition in 1928 of the Company’s now universally known Don figure trade-mark, and its continuous use in conjunction with the name SANDEMAN in distinctive block capital letters (which had been registered previously as a trade-mark) were, and continue to be, of considerable value as recognition data for both the House of Sandeman and its wines. That W. A. Sandeman was jealous of the very name Port, and zealous in the interests of both the Port Wine Trade in general and consumers of this wine (which is so ideally suited to the climate and taste of the British) in particular, was made clear in the first year of his control, through an action which he instituted in the Courts.
This case, a prosecution under the Merchandise Marks Act 1887, and the Anglo-Portugese Commercial Treaty Acts 1914 and 1916, was heard summarily before Justices of the Peace, sitting in Petty Sessions at Mortlake, Surrey, who, after hearing the evidence, dismissed the information, which was to the effect that a trader had, contrary to the Merchandise Marks Act, sold a bottle of wine, bearing a false trade description, namely, ‘Tarragona Port’.
The Justices were thereupon asked by the Prosecution (Geo. G. Sandeman Sons & Co., Limited) to state a case for the opinion of the High Court of Justice, where on the matter being heard the following judgements were delivered (extract):-
LORD CHIEF JUSTICE HEWART
The material fact is, that upon the 9th January of this year (1923) the Respondent did sell to a certain person a quart bottle of red Spanish wine known as ‘Tarragona Port’, bearing a label on which were printed the words ‘Tarragona Port’. Even before the year 1914 it might have been difficult to justify such a sale.....
The first section of the Anglo-Portugese Commercial Treaty Act 1914 provides, so far as the word ‘Port’ is concerned:-
‘That the description "port" applied to any wine or other liquor other than wine the produce of Portugal shall be deemed to be a false trade description within the meaning of the Merchandise Marks Act 1887 and that Act shall have effect accordingly.’
Continuing his Lordship said:-
In my opinion, the provisions of that section made impossible the kind of argument and defence which were put forward on behalf of the Respondent in this case.....the subsequent Anglo-Portugese Commercial Treaty Act of 1916, which became law on the 23rd August 1916....adds to the earlier Act, and does not subtract from it.....
Therein it is made clear that:-
.....it is not enough that the eine should come from Portugal, but there must be also a certificate issued by the competent Portugese authorities to the effect that it was a wine to which by the law of Portugal the description ‘port’ may be applied.
In my opinion, after the passing of the Act of 1914, this case was unarguable, and the appeal ought to be allowed, and the Justices should be directed to convict.
Mr. Justice Sankey and Mr. Justice Salter sitting with the Lord Chief Justice agreed.
On his death in 1937 Walter Albert Sandeman was succeeded by his son Henry Gerard Walter Sandeman (1885-1953).
A personality of great charm, shrewd and meticulous, he maintained and enhanced the Company’s interests and the family business traditions with assiduity. He succombed to serious illness in 1952; and just before his death in January 1953, he was succeeded by his brother Patrick Walter Sandeman the Company’s present Chairman, who has the support of his two sons, Timothy Walter Sandeman and David Patrick Sandeman, on the Company’s Board.
Source: Sands’s Sydney and Suburban Directory, 1879
The alphabetical listing in this volume has:
SANDEMAN, Alfred 40 Upper William St. N.
Source: N.S.W. Post Office Directory, 1886-87
Sandeman wine merchants not listed. The alphabetical section has only one Sandeman:
SANDEMAN, Alfred George, Manager of City Bank, Cootamundra
See pages 49 and 883.
Source: Sands’s Sydney & Suburban Directory for 1890
Page 1155 has the following entry:
SANDEMAN,-- George G. Sandeman, Sons & Co., London; Sandeman & Co.,
Oporto; Sandeman Brothers, Lisbon; Sandeman, Buck & Co.,
Jerez; Leacock & Co., Madeira, wine and spirit merchants and shippers. Union Chambers, 70 Pitt Street
The alphabetical section gives the same information as above. The only Sandeman listed in the alphabetical section is:
SANDEMAN, Harry 18 Womerah Avenue, Sydney.
Source: N.S.W. Post Office Directory, 1892-93
SANDEMAN, George G. Sandeman, Sons & Co., London; Sandeman & Co., Oporto; Sandeman Brothers, Lisbon; Barton & Guestier,
Bordeaux; wine & spirit merchants, 70 Pitt Street, Sydney
SANDEMAN, Alfred G. manager, City Bank, Cootamundra
SANDEMAN, H. G. H. 18, Womerah Avenue, Sydney
SANDEMAN, John, farmer, William Town
Source: N.S.W. Post Office Directory, 1901
The Alphabetical listing in this volume shows:
SANDEMAN, Wine and Spirit merchants & shippers 241 Pitt Street, Sydney.
Tel. No. 119
SANDEMAN, Alfred G. Manager, City Bank, Cootamundra
SANDEMAN, James William & John farmers, William Town
Source: Wise’s N.S.W. Post Office Directory, 1910
This lists Sandemans as follows:
SANDEMAN LTD (W. & S.) Merchants. 241 Pitt Street, Sydney [Wines &
SANDEMAN, Alf Sheddon Street, Islington
SANDEMAN, Geo. 9 Sinnons St., Balmain
SANDEMAN, Harry G. 44 Goodhope St., Paddington
SANDEMAN, Mrs. Phoebe 109 Phillip St., Sydney
SANDEMAN, Robert Beamish St., Canterbury
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