Graham’s Profile: Jorge Nunes

Jorge Nunes decanting the Malvedos 1999 Vintage Port before a tasting event

Graham’s Market Manager for the Far East, Pacific and Middle East, Jorge Nunes, is about to change the way we do business in those regions.  Before he re-locates from Portugal to Hong Kong, we decided to catch up with him to learn more.

With a qualification in winemaking (including harvest work experience at Quinta dos Malvedos in 2002 with Henry Shotton) and experience running tastings and educational programs for a top Portuguese wine magazine, Jorge joined Graham’s in 2007 with the dual remit of winemaking and hosting premium and VIP tastings at our Lodge.

By 2008 we knew the Far East and Pacific markets needed far more personal attention than the existing sales team could provide, and Jorge was asked to help them organise tastings and other events in the region.  Although he continues as one of the Symington winemaking team during each harvest, Jorge ultimately left the Lodge and joined the Market Management team full time to develop these markets.  With the sharp increase of interest in fine wine the past few years, the next logical step is a move to a base in the Far East and near total immersion.

Banner welcoming visitors to a Graham’s tasting event at Justin Bistro in Taipei last winter

With a strong network of top distributors, restaurants, bars and retail outlets across the region, Jorge’s role will be to support that network by providing training and education for wine and food professionals, as well as organising educational, tasting and food pairing events for the public.  He hosted some wonderful events in Japan and Taipei last year, and will be able to do much more once he is based in Hong Kong.

Jorge says the consumers in these markets are particularly keen to learn.  “The Port wine range can be complicated to understand, but the taste is just so easy to enjoy.  Asian consumers appreciate the quality and rarity of fine wines like the Graham’s 1961 and 1969 Single Harvest Tawnies and fine Vintage Ports, particularly more mature Vintages.  It is very clear to them that Port really is one of the fine wines of the world, and they value the history behind Port and the Douro as well as the superb and long standing reputation of the Symington family within the trade.”  With their eagerness to learn and understand, Jorge’s technical wine making knowledge is a huge benefit as well, as he is besieged with questions at events.

Jorge will be in Hong Kong May 29-31 for Vinexpo, the premier wine show for the entire Pacific and Far Eastern region.  Together with Paul Symington, he will be showing Graham’s Ports as well as a selection of Ports and Douro DOC wines from other Symington Family Estates brands.  Look for them as part of the Primum Familiae Vini group of family owned producers of fine wines, together with Marchesi Antinori, Hugel & Fils and Perrin & Fils.  Jorge will be serving Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny from a 4.5 litre Jeraboam – which should be impressive!  Each day they will be serving a different Vintage port from Magnum as well.

With Michel Wendel of Wendel’s German Bakery and Bistro in Taipei, selecting the best Graham’s Ports to pair with his wonderful pastries (photo courtesy of Thomas Kuo for Milk Magazine)

After Vinexpo Jorge will begin his travels around the region, and is looking forward to some great food pairing events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai later this summer and autumn.   He will be with Euan Mackay in late October at The Vintage Port Academy which is in its third year in Hong Kong and will be offered in Shanghai for the first time this year as well.  But in September he will be back to the Douro for harvest – he is still a winemaker!

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