In 2001 The Fladgate Partnership bought the Croft company. In 2008 Fladgate published a lovely book on this old Port firm edited by Margaret Rand. Basis of the book is history. Andrew Jones (journalist, researcher, writer, radio program maker) spent four years researching every aspect. Lady Lucy Croft donated the family archives with some 800 handwritten letters. By courtesy of her son Sir Thomas Croft the numerous family portraits were reproduced. He also made the architectural design for the new visitors centre of Quinta da Roêda. In 1681 Thomas Croft entered the firm by marriage. In 1892 the Gilbey family bought 50% of the Croft shares. The English import firm Gilbey created the successful Croft Invalid Port, both popular and controversial. It promised health benefits. At least it brought Croft a healthy cash flow. In 1950 the British government checked these medicinal claims and Croft Invalid was ordered to be withdrawn from sale. Almost Croft's whole market disappeared overnight. The house never fully recovered from the loss of this brand. A chapter is dedicated to Quinta da Roêda. Since the purchase in 2001 Fladgate renewed the winery and started a replant program of five hectares a year ending about in 2020. A special part of the book is a never-to-be-repeated tasting of Croft Vintages, because in the case of some Vintages these were the last bottles in their cellars. A group of thirteen international tasters and five Croft toppers judged twenty Vintages in November 2007. The published tasting notes are a selection of the most typical characterizations. The book contains the following chapters: 1. History: A tale of family enterprise from 1588 2. Roêda: The diamond in the ring 3. Vintage: Origin of a Vintage Port 4. Grand tasting: Vintage Ports back to 1900 5. Port and food: Croft in the kitchen, Croft in the dining room, recipes with Port, combinations with Port, cigars and Port 6. The future of Croft.
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