[in 1679] a vessel laden with port wine sailed from Oporto to London and was set upon by a French privateer. The Newman's ship successfully shook off the attacker, but lost her course and eventually crossed the Atlantic to find shelter at Newman's 'Plantation' in Newfoundland.
After a winter at St. John's she returned to London where, upon arrival, it was found that the wine had acquired a new, finer smoother flavour. It was evident that the voyage and the laying up in St. John's were responsible for the remarkable change.
Initially, Newman's port that was matured in Newfoundland was kept in caves on the South Side Hills of St. John's, as well as in the Newman's Harbour Breton fishing premises; this port was aged for four years before being shipped to England. The origin of the Newman Wine Vaults that we visited are unconfirmed, but are rumoured to be British military magazines. During an archaeological dig, tobacco pipes were found that date back to the 1780s, making this one of the oldest buildings still standing in St. John's (as the 'Great Fire of 1892' destroyed most of the downtown area).
Here are a few more pictures from our Something Sunday!