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Landmark Portuguese wine festival 'FESTA' to take place in June

Published:  13 January, 2022

London’s Tobacco Dock will host an inaugural consumer-led festival in June, dedicated to Portugal’s wine, gastronomy, music and arts. The event is set to coincide with the Festa de São João, a famous event within Porto’s calendar where thousands travel to the city and surrounding neighbourhoods to celebrate Porto's patron saint, John the Baptist.

Taking place between Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June, London’s FESTA is described as “the first-of-its-kind” in the UK, offering a tribute to festivals which are “at the beating heart of traditional Portuguese culture”.

Over the two-day period, FESTA will showcase wines from 50 of Portugal’s most pioneering and cutting-edge producers, predominantly those who are wine growers and Portuguese artisans, alongside leading Portuguese food and craft brands and the best of the UK’s Portuguese restaurant scene.

Festa has been spearheaded by Max Graham, owner of acclaimed Portuguese wine bar and restaurant Bar Douro. Graham was raised in Portugal where his family, who founded Graham’s and then Churchill’s Port houses, have produced Port and wine in the Douro Valley for two centuries.

Having opened two Bar Douro sites, launched an online Portuguese wine shop and the Bar Douro Wine Club, Graham believes that 2022 is “the year to expand our community and introduce wine, food and travel lovers to the Portuguese producers and products that most excite me. I’m thrilled to be able to do this through a unique cultural event, with art and live music.”

Bar Douro’s wine guru Sarah Ahmed, a leading commentator on Portugal’s wine scene, will coordinate a series of tastings and panel discussions for the trade/press and consumer open sessions. “Since my first visit in 2004, Portugal’s unique wine culture had me hooked,” said Ahmed.

“The wines have gone from strength to strength as Portugal’s dynamic producers have developed an ever deeper understanding and respect for their country’s distinctive grape varieties, wine traditions and terroir.”

FESTA will be preceded by an invitation-only press and trade session from 11am - 4pm on 24 June. A full programme with a detailed list of participating producers will be shared in February.

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