Henry’s Port Ancestry

Graham’s is known as a family business, with a tremendous family heritage – it was founded  in 1820 by two brothers, William and John Graham, whose direct descendants turned it over in 1970 to the Symington family, who now are in their own 5th generation in the wine trade, and 14th generation through their great-grandmother.

But many of the employees at Graham’s are themselves from old port-trade families, and our winemaker at Quinta dos Malvedos is one, Henry Shotton.

Henry’s family connection to Port also began in the early 1800’s, when members of the Teage family from Dartmouth, in Devon, England, came to Portugal.  As with so many of the early port shippers, they engaged in a variety of commercial interests, including the Newfoundland cod trade, and were originally based in Viana do Castelo, north of Porto.

His great great grandfather, John Land Teage Sr  was born in Oporto (as it was called by the English) in 1829 and died in Devon 1898.  He ran the Port company named Hunt, Roope Teage in the 19th century and his brothers William and Rolland were involved in another firm, then known as Cockburn Smithes.

His son, John Land Teage Jr, known as Johnnie Teage, was born in Oporto 1860 and died there in 1926.  He also was a partner in Cockburn Smithes, retiring in 1913.  He married Alice Tatham Smithes and had 3 daughters.

As it happens, the Quinta do Tua, now owned by Graham’s, was once part of the Cockburn Smithes holdings in the Douro, and a photo of Henry’s great grandfather, Johnnie Teage, hangs on the wall of the house, where Henry recently met him again.

Small world!