Port’s Fladgate Partnership Expands into Portuguese Table Wine, Buying Ideal Drinks

The Fladgate Partnership (TFP), owners of Taylor’s and several other leading Port houses, was the sole major Port wine company to only produce fortified wine. That’s changed now. The company announced this week that it has purchased the estates and brands of Ideal Drinks, a company founded in 2010 by Carlos Dias. The deal includes inventory, brands, wineries and nearly 500 acres of vineyards outside the Douro. Neither party disclosed the price.

Dias is a successful Portuguese businessman who built his wealth in Italian fashion ventures and luxury watches, including the Swiss brand Roger Dubois. He sold that company 14 years ago and then established Ideal Drinks in his native Portugal. Dias invested substantial time and money to purchase exceptional estates in some of the best terroirs in the oldest appellations, namely Vinho Verde, Dão and Bairrada. But his daughter has no interest in managing the wine division, so he opted to sell.

Established in 1692 with Taylor Fladgate, The Fladgate Partnership (TFP) also includes Port houses Croft, Krohn, Delaforce and Fonseca Guimaraens. According to CEO Adrian Bridge, while there has been repeated demand in recent years for TFP to branch out into Douro table wines, the firm focuses primarily on special category Port wines, and would not be able to spare grapes from fortified wines for Douro DOC wines. Acquiring new estates in the Douro was not appealing either.

Bridge told Wine Spectator that when Ideal Drinks came up for sale, the opportunity was not to be missed, even though this wasn’t exactly the most favorable moment, financially speaking. TFP has recently made substantial moves in wine tourism recently, including a $124 million investment in World of Wine, an entire block filled with six museums, nine restaurants, a wine school and more, in Oporto. Bridge said that he reminded himself that wine is a long-term business and the group has to take an intergenerational focus.

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TFP’s newly created table wines division will be centered around the Ideal Drinks estates. All 34 staff members will be incorporated into TFP, including the winemaking teams, led by consultant Pascal Chatonnet.

The estates are extensive. In Minho, Quinta da Pedra has 131 acres and Paço de Palmeira has 59 acres. In Dão, Quinta de Bella has 124 acres. In Bairrada, Quinta de Curia has 35 acres and Colinas de S. Lourenço has 138 acres. Other smaller properties are included in the package.

Bridge told Wine Spectator that the prestige of the group’s brands, such as Taylor Fladgate or Fonseca, makes it mandatory that any table wine made by TFP must have world-class quality. He emphasized that TFP exports 93 percent of all its production, whereas Ideal Drinks sells 96 percent in Portugal. So, he concluded, there is an opportunity to take these wines to the international markets. Some repackaging will be needed, to make some of the brands more appealing to the international market. “At this moment, we are evaluating everything, and we haven’t made any final decisions,” said Bridge.

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Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/fladgate-expands-into-portuguese-table-wine-buying-ideal-drinks

Port’s Fladgate Partnership Expands into Portuguese Table Wine, Buying Ideal Drinks Port’s Fladgate Partnership Expands into Portuguese Table Wine, Buying Ideal Drinks *Port’s Fladgate Partnership Expands into Portuguese Table Wine, Buying Ideal Drinks