21 Ultimate Gifts: Primo Ports
- A four-day visit for three couples to Oporto, Portugal, hosted by the Fladgate Partnership.
- A dinner featuring Taylor Fladgate vintage ports from 1924, 1928, 1935, 1963, 1977, and 1994; Vargellas Vinha Velha 2000 single quinta; and Taylor Fladgate Scion 155-year-old tawny.
- A bottle of each of the above vintages and two bottles of Taylor Fladgate Scion for each couple.
- A case of a custom-blended tawny port from Taylor Fladgate.
- A pipe (61 cases) of port from grapes trodden by the gift recipients.
- A crystal William Yeoward port decanter for each couple.
- Tastings of vintage wines from the Yeatman hotel’s private cellar.
- A master tasting class with Natasha Robertson Bridge, Taylor Fladgate’s chief blender.
- A tasting of vintage port and tawny with the Fladgate Partnership CEO Adrian Bridge.
- An overnight stay at Taylor Fladgate’s Quinta de Vargellas.
- Lodging for two nights at the Yeatman hotel.
- A dinner prepared by the Yeatman’s Michelin-starred executive chef, Ricardo Costa, aboard a historic barco rabelo.
- Lunch at the Partner’s House with Robert Bower, sales and export manager for the Fladgate Partnership.
- Helicopter and yacht tours of the Douro River.
- A tour of the Fonseca vineyards with David Guimaraens, winemaker and viticultural director for Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca.
- Round-trip transportation from New York to Oporto aboard a private jet.
Along with fellow Fladgate Partnership members Fonseca and Croft, Taylor Fladgate is offering three Robb Report couples a chance to travel to Portugal and taste and acquire some of the world’s rarest vintage ports. The gift recipients also will take an insider’s tour of this historic port house during the harvest season.
Established in 1692 and owned by descendents of the original founding family, Taylor Fladgate is known for its award-winning vintage ports, aged tawnies, and late-bottled vintages—a category that the company was the first to introduce in 1970. Taylor Fladgate also was the first to offer a single quinta vintage, and it continues the tradition of foot-treading when producing its classic vintages.
The trip begins aboard a Gulfstream G550 or comparable private jet, which will fly the couples from New York to Oporto, Portugal, home of Taylor Fladgate. The flight, arranged by luxury-travel specialist Glenn Litwak Group at Protravel, will be staffed by a gourmet chef who will prepare meals accompanied by vintage wines.
In Oporto the couples will stay at the Yeatman, a luxury hotel overlooking the Douro River and the historic city, and enjoy treatments at the property’s Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa.
Adrian Bridge, CEO of the Fladgate Partnership, will host a welcoming dinner for the couples aboard a historic barco rabelo on the Douro. Vintage Champagnes and wines from the Yeatman’s cellar (the largest in Portugal) will complement a feast prepared by the Yeatman’s Michelin-starred chef, Ricardo Costa. Afterward, vintage ports and cheeses will be served during a fireworks display presented for the couples.
The next day will begin with a master blending class at Taylor Fladgate’s lodges conducted by its chief blender, Natasha Robertson Bridge. The gift recipients will then have a chance to make a case’s worth of their own aged tawny, which Bridge will prepare.
The couples will fly by helicopter to Taylor Fladgate’s Quinta de Vargellas 19th-century estate. Following a tasting of rare vintages and aged tawnies in the Taylor Fladgate cellar, the couples will take a helicopter tour of the Douro. Fladgate Partnership chairman Alistair Robertson and his wife, Gillyane, will lead a foot-treading session in the lagares. Each couple will receive a pipe (61 cases) of the port they helped make, once it is bottled, in 2014. The day will conclude with a multicourse dinner with the Robertsons.
Following the couples’ overnight stay at Quinta de Vargellas, day three of the trip will feature a tour of the vineyards during harvest with David Guimaraens, the viticultural director for Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca, and Croft. Lunch will be served aboard a teak-decked motoryacht en route to Pinhão, the center of the Cima Corgo region. A helicopter will return the couples to the Yeatman.
At the hotel, Adrian Bridge will host a dinner and a tasting of Taylor Fladgate vintages from 1924, 1928, 1935, 1963, 1977, and 1994, plus Vargellas Vinha Velha 2000 single quinta and Scion, a 155-year-old. Each couple will be given a bottle of these ports (two of the Scion) to take home.
On the fourth and final day of the trip, after a guided tour of Oporto, each couple will receive a crystal William Yeoward decanter engraved with their names or family crests and the date of their foot-treading, along with six matching crystal glasses.
"We have never offered this array of ports before and [such] private, behind-the-scenes access to the family," says Adrian Bridge. "These are wines that money can’t buy, not just because of their rarity, but because of their provenance. These wines are coming directly from our family’s cellars and are bottles that, even for us, are in very short supply."
This gift is for three couples—not six individuals. The trip must be taken in September or October 2012, during the harvest season. The price includes all taxes and duties on the wines. If the Gulfstream G550 is not available, another private jet with comparable accommodations and capabilities will be substituted.