The Gilbeys take control


Shipments of Invalid Port to Britain continued to increase throughout the 1890’s and from 1894 were extended to other markets, including Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. 

In these export markets, where the Gilbey’s name was unknown, Invalid Port was sold under the Croft brand.  As the Invalid Port business grew, Gilbey’s anxiety regarding its source of supply became more acute.  In 1910, John Frederick Croft died and in 1911 Gilbey’s purchased his share in the house of Croft from his heirs, taking full control of the company.

The connection with the Croft family was maintained only by one of John Frederick’s sons, Percy Croft, who remained as a director of the firm in London and is credited with the saying, "Any time not spent drinking Port is a waste of time.”


Next: Croft’s legendary Vintage Ports >>