The prehistory of the firm of Fonseca Guimaraens lies in the late 1700s, in a company known as Fonseca & Monteiro, located in Oporto. The Fonseca family was of Brazilian origin, and conducted its trade in wine, foodstuffs, olive oil and cloth primarily with Brazil in exchange for sugar cane, hemp and snuff from the colonies.

The present firm, however, was not formally founded until 1822, when Manuel Pedro Guimaraens acquired control of the company through purchase of the majority of the Fonseca holdings. Born on June 6th, 1798, in the town of Sao Romao da Ucha, Barcelos, Manuel Pedro travelled extensively to Brazil, both for his own account and that of Fonseca & Monteiro, in the commerce of general merchandise.

By the 1820s, Fonseca & Monteiro dealt solely in Port wines. As a condition of the sale of his shares to young Guimaraens, the departing Fonseca stipulated that his name be retained not only as a brand name, but also as a family name for whoever should own the business.

Fonseca Guimaraens / Susan Morra Kobrand Corporation / 134 East 40th Street / New York NY 10016 / Fax: 212-490-9300

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