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Graham’s launches first premium White Port

Published:  11 February, 2019

Graham’s Port is launching its first premium white port, Blend No.5, in order to capitalise on the surging popularity of the drink.

It said the ‘Port & Tonic’ has been experiencing success in both the on-trade and at home as an “innovative and less alcoholic alternative to the classic Gin & Tonic”.

According to the IVDP, UK sales of white port increased by 161% from 2012 to 2017.

Graham’s said the majority of white ports are made from a mixed field blend of various white grape varieties, but its head winemaker, Charles Symington, chose two premium Portuguese white grape varieties - the fresh Malvasia Fina and the aromatic Moscatel Gallega - to produce Blend No.5.

Bottled three months after the harvest to “preserve maximum freshness” it should be drunk young. The medium dry blend has been “deliberately designed to mix well with tonic whilst also being an excellent standalone drink”.

Production is limited to 6000 bottles and is currently only available to the UK market, initially only to the on-trade.

Graham’s has also opted for packaging which it says “represents a clear departure from the more traditional presentation of other ports” in an attempt to “increase the product's appeal in the on-trade and reach new consumers who previously might not have had port in their drinking repertoires.”

Graham’s Design Manager, Alexandra Sousa Ribeiro, commissioned Portuguese fashion illustrator António Soares, who has previously collaborated with FENDI, Karl Lagerfeld, and Chanel, to draw the "beautiful illustrations” for the bottle.

“Our design concept aimed to transmit the aromatic fresh profile of the wine - white grapes, lime, peaches, honey - whilst connecting it with mint and lemon, the garnish associated with Port and Tonic,” said Ribeiro. “António Soares, who is known for his strong use of colour, was invited to use his artistic interpretation to create the organic elements for the bottle illustration.”

Charlotte Symington, marketing manager for Symington Family Estates, said following the “huge success of the Graham’s Aged Tawny Ports in clear glass bottles, we felt it was time create a new take on white port, having seen it grow in reputation over the last few years. We wanted Graham’s Blend Nº5 White Port to be immediate and accessible to a younger generation of port drinkers. The presentation is something completely new for the port trade and we’re excited to see how consumers react.”