Gilbey’s Invalid Port


While the house was undoubtedly successful, it suffered from lack of capital as John Frederick was unwilling to invest in the company to the extent that previous generations had done. 

Financial relief came from an unexpected source. The London wine merchant Gilbey’s had developed a brand known as Gilbey’s Invalid Port, for which it claimed invigorating and tonic properties. The wine was supplied by Croft, shipped in cask and bottled by Gilbey’s in London.

Gilbey’s Invalid Port was an enormous success and this new business brought welcome cash into to the Croft Port business.  As the sales of Invalid Port grew, Gilbey’s began to be concerned about guaranteeing its source of supply of suitable wine. In 1892, they purchased half of the shares in Croft, the other half being retained by John Frederick.  

Next: The Gilbeys take control >>