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Taylor’s Port marks 650 years of Anglo-Portuguese alliance at Tower of London

Members of the trade gathered at the White Tower at the Tower of London last week to mark the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, the longest continual relationship of its kind.

From the thousand-year-old White Tower, which dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, it is possible to see St Paul’s Cathedral where the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty was signed by King Edward III and King Fernando and Queen Leonor of Portugal on 16 June 1373.

It was to be a partnership that would prove to be not only incredibly longstanding but of paramount importance to the Port wine business.

By the second half of the 15th century, a large amount of Portuguese wine was being shipped to England, often in exchange for salt cod (bacalhau), from Portugal. However, it was not until the second half of the 17th century that the liquid became widely known as Port.

Speaking at a dinner held by Taylor’s Port to mark the 650th anniversary of this alliance, Adrian Bridge, CEO,  said; “Taylor’s Port is relatively young compared to a millennium of time within the walls of this tower and the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.  Founded in 1692, Taylor’s roots were firmly planted in Portugal and have continued in the same family for several generations.

“We are proud to be a partner and the official Port for Portugal-UK 650 which commemorates the long and enduring friendship between our two countries.  It is a fitting tribute to share these magnificent Ports in such an iconic setting which has been the seat of Kings and Queens for centuries.”

Among the drinks served at the dinner was  the 80-year-old Taylor’s Coronation Port Limited Edition Very Very Old Tawny (VVOP), released earlier this year and a blend of some of the rarest Ports from Taylor’s cellars. The Port is emblematic of the newly created ‘Very Very Old’ Port category, permitted in 2022 by the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto .

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