The House of Sandeman was founded in London in 1790 by George Sandeman, a young Scot from Perth who invested £300 borrowed from his father in a business marketing wines from Porto and Jerez. More than 220 years later, an average of 21 bottles of Sandeman are bought every minute in more than 75 markets. Shipping the finest wines and “Famous for Pleasure” since 1790, the Sandeman portfolio includes 24 award- winning wines with a total of 378 distinctions. In fact in 2017 it was the world’s most awarded Porto Wine brand also the most awarded Porto Wine brand by Decanter, IWC and IWSC between 2013 and 2017.
As for the infamous Sandeman don, a Scottish artist named George Massiot Brown approached Sandeman for business in 1928, a time when French posters were very much in vogue. Ingeniously, George signed his artwork as G. Massiot to hide his Scottish origins and feign a French name. And so was born the very first design icon for wine, the Sandeman don. Dressed like the Spanish caballeros de Jerez in a Portuguese student’s cape and wide-brimmed Spanish hat, the Don cuts a dark, dramatic figure with his glass of ruby colored Porto. This powerful image has been an integral part of both bottle labels and advertising since the early 1930s.