As managing director (CEO) Adrian Bridge is credited with expanding the Fladgate Partnership’s holdings and distribution, nurturing the group’s pioneering role in viticulture and winemaking practices and pioneering Croft Pink, the first new style of Port to appear in generations.
A Welcome to Port
Adrian Bridge was born in Belleville, Ontario. His first introduction to the Port industry was in 1982, when he met his wife, Natasha, daughter of Alistair Robertson, chairman and owner of the Fladgate Partnership. After attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Bridge spent six years as an officer in The Queen’s Dragoon Guards followed by a further six years in London running the U.S. equity sales team for NatWest Investment Bank.
In 1994 he and Natasha moved to Portugal, where Bridge took control of the company’s Port brands in the U.K. and U.S. and oversaw the strong development of both of these key markets during the 1990s.
In 2000 Bridge was appointed managing director of the group and continued to lead the expansion of the business that he had initiated with the acquisition of the Borges Port assets in 1998. In 2001 he extended the group’s holdings with the purchase from Diageo of Croft Port and Delaforce Port, followed by other important strategic acquisitions over the following years. He also broadened the group’s involvement in distribution, adding investments in Canada and Portugal to the company’s existing equity share in its U.K. importer.
A Focus on Quality Production
At the same time Bridge nurtured the group’s pioneering role in viticulture and winemaking practices and oversaw an ongoing program of investment in the firm’s grade-A vineyards and wineries. He has been careful to ensure that, uniquely among Port producers, the Fladgate Partnership remains entirely focused on quality Port production. Under his stewardship the company continues to win awards and accolades internationally.
Bridge has led the expansion of the group’s tourism assets, most recently with the opening of the Yeatman Hotel and Wine Spa, a landmark property located in the historic Vila Nova De Gaia that sets new standards for luxury hospitality in the city.
Bridge also pioneered the first new style of Port to appear in generations: Croft Pink.
Port in Antarctica
Bridge lives and works in Portugal, but his work and his passion for mountaineering regularly take him across the world. Not surprisingly, he celebrated a recent big mountain ascent in Antarctica with a glass of Port at the summit.