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"White Label" Warre's

December 30, 2011
Question by: Cat, Chichester, England

Q:

This Christmas we decided to open the very old bottle of port that came from my mother's aunt when she lived in Portugal in the 1950's but we were interested in knowing more about it. It only says "White Label No. 1" and 'not for sale' (in Portuguese) with 'Warre & Ca. Lda. Vila Nova de Gaia' on the label. There's no other information except some markings in the glass on the bottom of the bottle, although the label has the same look as the Warre bottles from the 1950's, so I was wondering if there was any way of finding out which year it actually came from?

A:

Hi Cat, Johnny Symington tells us these "White Label" wines were produced as gifts for Warre's own staff at Christmas and Easter.  The No. 1 was a standard Ruby or Tawny, No. 2 a Late Bottled Vintage, and No. 3 an aged Tawny.  The wines were the same as produced and sold commercially for the brand, only bottled with special labels for employee gifts.  This practice was only discontinued in the 1980's - now the employee Christmas gift box includes branded wines in the usual commercial packaging.



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