Six grapes is one of the iconic brands of the Port trade.

One of the distinct features of Port production in Portugal is the geographical separation of the vineyards and wineries from the ageing cellars, so that wines have to be transported in barrel some sixty miles downriver to the coast to begin their barrel ageing process in the cooler climate of the Atlantic seaboard. Originally this journey was made in heavily loaded flat-bottomed ‘barco rabelo’ boats.



In order to identify the different grades of wine leaving the Douro, the barrels would typically be marked with coded symbols describing the type of wine they contained. When the barrels were received in Porto, the requisite symbol and quantity would be entered into large ledgers known as ‘lot books’.
Graham’s adopted its own set of codes, with geometric symbols, letters and other designs describing the style of the maturing wines and the final blends ready for shipment to overseas customers. But the very best wines from the very best vineyards, of a quality that could possibly be considered as candidates for a bottling as Graham’s Vintage Port, were designated ‘Six Grapes’, being the highest of six possible classifications depicted by the appropriate number of grape bunches .

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