A bottle of vintage Ferreira port from the year of the Battle of Waterloo has been auctioned by Sotheby’s, smashing previous records by achieving a hammer price of €6,800.
The Vintages Collection auction was held at the Tower of London this Thursday as part of a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo; no French were present.
"This auction result is due to a combination of three simple factors; our passion for wine; the respect we have for history and tradition, and fundraising for charity," said the head of Sogrape, Fernando Guedes.
The port was offered for auction to benefit Apela, an association that helps patients and families suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
The port’s survival is acknowledged to be down to one person, the legendary Ferreira heiress, Dona Antónia Ferreira who was renowned for her visionary business sense as well as for her philanthropy.
She restored the Ferreira vineyards after the ravages of phylloxera and was known to share her wealth with the poorest and most disadvantaged of the Douro region.
Dona Antónia also safeguarded quality Ferreira Vintage ports by creating a wine cellar to preserve vintage ports from the best harvests and was just four when the Waterloo Vintage was created in 1815.
She accumulated around 13,000 barrels of vintage port for the cellars including the renowned harvests of 1815, 1820, 1834, 1847 and 1863, ensuring Ferreira’s heritage for generations.
At her death in 1896, in a male dominated world of port traders, she had become the major vineyard owner in the Douro region and provided work for thousands of labourers.
The Waterloo Vintage bottle was bought (thankfully) by an Englishman and after 200 years of storage in a cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia, the 1815 port now has a new home.
Dona Antonia was just 4 years old when this port wine was created, the rest, as they say, is history