The House of Sandeman was founded in London in 1790 by George Sandeman, a young Scotsman from Perth who borrowed £300 to invest in a wine trading business with products from Porto and Jerez. More than 230 years later, an average of 21 bottles of Sandeman are bought every minute in more than 75 countries. The Sandeman portfolio includes Ports, Sherries and Madeiras and has been recognized as the world’s most awarded portfolio of Aged Tawnies for the past six years by Decanter, IWC and IWSC.
As for the infamous Sandeman Don, a Scottish artist named George Massiot Brown approached Sandeman in 1928 to design a poster to advertise the brand. Incorporating the company’s Ports of Portugal and their Spanish Sherries, The Don is wearing a wide-brimmed Spanish hat like the caballeros of Jerez and a Portuguese student’s cape. The Don became famous and was one of the very first design icons for wine. Today, the Don has become part of the very essence of the Sandeman brand and can be found on every bottle sold.
When joining the wine-making team in 1989, Luís Sottomayor knew he joined the right company to make the finest wines of the Douro. Today, with his skills recognized and the quality of his work proven, he heads the Oenology team for all Sogrape Port Wine brands, a responsibility he assumed in January 2003.
Although Luís’s career trajectory has afforded him enriching experiences in several national and international wine-growing regions, his commitment to Douro and Port Wines earned him the 2010 Winemaker of the Year Award in the Fortified Wines category by Revista de Vinhos, one of the nation’s most prestigious wine publications. In 2012 he was nominated for the Winemaker of the Year accolade at the International Wine Challenge and was named Winemaker of the Year by Revista de Vinhos in 2012 and 2017.
Arguing that the secret of great wines rests on the passion of those who write their history in the vineyards and cellars, Luís likes to emphasize the effort made at Sogrape Vinhos to preserve and enhance their legacy by combining the values of tradition with emerging desires and trends for the future. An avowed soccer supporter, Luís Sottomayor devotes some of his leisure time to rugby, horse-riding and hunting.