The new guides for the 2011 season at Graham’s Port Lodge have begun their training in Vila Nova de Gaia. Last week they were in the Lodge, simply watching and listening as the veteran guides went about their work. This week, the training gets serious.
9:00 Monday morning the Lodge team reported to the head office of Graham’s for breakfast with the boss, Paul Symington, and the start of formal training sessions about Graham’s and their responsibilities.
Paul welcomed the group and spoke about Graham’s heritage and the Symington family: their passion for Port, the family’s 13 generation heritage in the Port trade, and their commitment to the Douro.
Paul went on to impress upon the new guides the importance of their role, as ambassadors for Graham’s. There are many excellent wines out there, however Paul emphasised it is up to our guides to represent Graham’s and make clear to our visitors all the qualities that makes Graham’s unique among port wines.
Next, Joe Alvares Ribeiro, Director for Tourism, made a presentation to the group about Graham’s core values, not just rattling off the words, but providing concrete examples of how, in our day to day business, Graham’s lives up to its values of Quality, Family, Innovation, Terroir and Leadership. He then moved on to list Graham’s expectations of the guides. Above all: smile!
The morning concluded with a presentation by Henri Sizaret about Graham’s marketing strategy, and a tour of the offices.
The blogger has joined the team for their training this week and will be reporting regularly on the activities and progress of the new guides. Stay tuned!