Christopher Smith, Member of The British Parliament and Lord Mayor of London, founded a small company to ship Port from the Douro in 1784. The Woodhouse brothers joined in the early 19th century and the name Smith Woodhouse was established. By the end of the 19th century their Ports enjoyed a strong reputation. Like so many shippers, Smith Woodhouse fell on hard times in the aftermath of the Second World War, and the shipper was sold to a London based wine importer, whilst the wines were supplied by W & J Graham’s. In 1970, when the Symington family bought Graham’s, they acquired Smith Woodhouse as well.
As a niche name with limited production, Smith Woodhouse is not as well-known as most of its peers, but among Port connoisseurs it is eagerly sought. In major blind tastings of all the Ports declared in Vintage years, critics consistently pick out the Smith Woodhouse as extraordinarily good and extraordinarily good value.