Beyond Port! Symington Family Buys Estate Outside of Douro Valley

For first time in 135 years, producers of Warre's, Dow's buy vineyard in another Portuguese region
Symington Family's newest estate in Alto Alentejo. Photo/Symington Family

The Symington Family Estates, maker of Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s, Warre’s and other Ports has ventured out of the Douro to buy a 512-acre (207-hectares) wine property in the Alto Alentejo area of southern Portugal.

“After 135 years in the Douro our family felt that the time was right to make wine in another great Portuguese region,” Rupert Symington said in apress release. “We love the Alto Alentejo and especially the location of this vineyard (in the Portalegre wine region). We plan to make some exciting and interesting wines here.”

Of the 512 acres, 106 acres are of mature vineyards planted at an altitude ranging from 1,600 feet to 1,800 feet (490 to 550 meters) bordering the São Mamede National Park, the highest mountain range in the south of Portugal, Symington said. The estate, formally known as Altas Quintas, has been producing wines for many years, but the Symington family have chosen not to acquire any of the remaining stock, according to the statement.

Symington Family Estate's Newest Vineyard
Symington’s newest vineyard in Alto Alentejo.

The soils are well drained, being a mixture of schist and granite with plentiful water flowing from the wooded uplands that rise from the estate’s north-easterly boundary, the statement said.

Known as the breadbasket of Portugal, the Alentejo region makes half the country’s wine. The reds, easy drinkers, rich and fruity, are the darlings of Lisbon cafés and restaurants, can also be found on wine lists the length of the country, according to Wines of Portugal.

Term of the sale were not disclosed. However, for context, the real estate agency Green-Acres lists a 24-acre (10-hectare) ‘wine farm’ for sale, also in Portalegre, for 1 million euros ($1.06 million).

In other news from Portugal, reported that while the country is largely associated with red wines, the volume of Denominação de Origem Protegida (DOP) whites exported to the UK in 2016, surpassed DOP red wines for the first time. Citing figures released at ViniPortugal‘s Viva Portugal Grand Tasting in London last week, Portuguese white wines showed strong growth in exports to the UK, up 34.8 percent from 2015.

Vinitaly Auction Raises Over $74,000, Some For Charity

Just as Vinitaly was getting underway on Sunday, wines in large format bottles from more than 100 companies at Vinitaly's Wine Auction 2017the trade fair were put up for auction. Cristiano De Lorenzo, Managing Director of Christie’s Italy and by Tim Triptree, Senior Specialist at Christie’s Wine Department in London gaveled the bids from more than 300 guests.

The auction raised around $74,198 (70,000 euro), some of which will go to the Dynamo Camp Recreational Therapy program, which helps children suffering from neurological disorders.

Published on April 13, 2017
Topics: Latest News
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.

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