Monday, 10 April 2017

Bodegas: Robertson Bros & Co

The history of this firm goes back to 1847 when James Nisbet Robertson joined British wine merchants Burdon & Gray, and traded mainly in Sherry until 1856 when John Gray died and the firm became Robertson Brothers. From 1860 the firm traded as Robertson Bros & Co, a partnership of John Robertson, Peter Robertson Rodger and Stormonth Darling Tait. Robertsons had a trading agreement with B Vergara & Co (later Hijos de B Vergara), shipping Sherry as Vergara Robertson & Co until 1886.

John Robertson

Between 1888 and 1893 they worked in partnership with Juan P Marks, whose bodegas were opposite at Calle Pizarro 10-12, while the Robertson bodegas were at number 13. They occupied 4,500 square metres and there was another bodega in Calle Guadalete. For a while they even had a bodega in El Puerto. Virtually all their wine, which was of the traditional full bodied rounded style, was shipped to England. In 1896 they moved to spacious premises in the Paseo de las Delicias located on the eastern side of Jerez where they had their bodegas, offices, presses and everything necessary for the Sherry trade. The Robertson Bros & Co partnership was dissolved in 1897.

Moving ever closer to the Port trade, they had greatly increased their interests there with the purchase in 1881 of various Port installations from Allen & Co, including Quinta Nova de D Roza and Quinta Roncão along with the vintage Port brand Rabello Valente. In 1910 the Sherry bodegas were moved to Calle San Francisco de Paula, and from around 1912 they were owned by Williams & Humbert and sold to Sandeman in 1963. Sandeman was itself taken over by Seagram in 1980 and now belongs to the Portuguese group Sogrape, for whom the name Robertson remains a sous marque.

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