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Published:  23 July, 2008

Portugal's largest wine producer, Sogrape Vinhos, is moving the UK distribution and marketing of its underperforming Sandeman Port & Sherry brand from Pernod Ricard to Stevens Garnier, the current distributor of its table wines. The Sandeman brand [bought by Sogrape in 2002] has historic importance in the UK and we believe this is a better portfolio fit and will allow its development within a more focused environment,' said Sogrape Vinhos president Salvador Guedes. The move does not affect the existing global distribution agreement with Pernod Ricard.' Alistair Stevens, chairman of Stevens Garnier, said: We are seeing significant sales growth for Sogrape's quality DOC Portuguese wines, and the addition of the Sandeman Ports, Sherries and Brandy de Jerez to our portfolio will allow us to open up new distribution opportunities for the brands.' Founded in 1790 in London, Sandeman was once the world's leading brand of Port and Sherry', and was the first branded Port sold in the UK'. Its popularity in the UK has declined, but it remains popular in parts of Europe and North America.