Friday, 26 January 2018

Bodegas Luis G Gordon & Doz

The Gordon clan was very numerous in Jerez. As Catholics they had been compelled to leave Scotland after the Battle of Cullodden in 1746 and Arthur Gordon had established a very successful Sherry business in 1754. The business passed down through the generations as they intermarried, often with other bodega families, forming various other splinter firms on the way such as Gordon Beigbeder, CP Gordon, DG Gordon and Alexander Gordon.

Luis G Gordon & Doz was established as a grower and exporter following the merger in 1896 by Luis Gonzalo Gordon Dávila of his company Luis G Gordon & Co with Doz & Co. On reaching majority, his son, Luis Gonzalo Gordon Isasi, who was born in 1898, joined the firm. The main bodegas were in the Huerta Pintada in central Jerez, with other installations in Calle Cartuja, where they also had a distillery. They had warehouses in the Segunda Aguada in Cádiz to facilitate shipping until they sold them to Ford in the early 1920s.

In 1906 the firm’s name changed to Gordon y Doz Hermanos, and the address changed to Calle Don Juan, changing again in 1908 to Calle Jardinillo, and in 1939 they cease to be registered exporters. The firm was still going however, owned since 1940 by Alejandro Gordon, Marqués de Irún, who worked from Calle José Antonio Primo de Rivera. In 1945 he moved to rented first floor offices in the bodegas of Palomino & Vergara before returning to Huerta Pintada in 1964. In 1971 his son, Luis G Gordon took over the firm, largely now an agency business, till it closed in 1986.

The firm also had offices and cellars in London as Luis Gordon & Sons Ltd at 48 Mark Lane, home to so many wine merchants over the years, and shipped other types of wine as well, such as Smith Woodhouse Port. For many years they were very successful UK importers and agents for Pedro Domecq and were pioneers of the wine trade “jolly” taking clients to Jerez where Domecq would entertain them with bodegas, wine and bulls.

After retiring as chairman of the firm and selling the London end of the business, Luis Gordon (1933-2002) bought Gordon’s Wine Bar (no relation) in Villiers Street, London, said to be the oldest in the city and established in 1890 on a much older site. This cellar bar had attracted the leading literati including Tennyson, Chesterton and Kipling, not to mention later stars such as Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Luis Gordon & Sons is still registered, albeit in the Channel Islands, but is no longer involved in the wine trade.

The principal brands were: Manzanilla La Giralda, Amontillado Fino Manola, Oloroso Creso, Solera 1857, Quina Irún, Brandy Almogávar, Ponche América, Anís Galicia.

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