In Portuguese ‘Fonte’ means source of water or fountain, and ‘Souto’ is a chestnut grove. The combination of the two words in the estate’s name symbolises the abundance of water from the estate’s natural springs and its beautiful chestnut groves.
Quinta da Fonte Souto is a new wine project from the Symington family in the exciting Portalegre sub-region of the Alto Alentejo in southern Portugal.
It was always going to take something special for us to take our first steps beyond the Douro, and with this stunning property situated at a relatively high altitude within the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park to the east of the hot Alentejo plain, we believe we have found all the conditions we were looking for.
This is a long-term project with the objective of putting the unique terroir of this sub-region on the map, for wine lovers in Portugal and elsewhere around the world.
This is our family’s first property outside the Douro region. Quinta da Fonte Souto is in the Portalegre subregion of the Alto Alentejo in southern Portugal. Close to the São Mamede range (1,025 metres), the property benefits from the area’s altitude with its cooler microclimate in sharp contrast to the Alentejo region’s typically hot and dry conditions. Yields are low due to the schist and granite soils, which are less fertile than those found in the flat and rolling terrain which characterizes the majority of the Alentejo.
There are 207 hectares on the property, of which 43 are planted with vines. The principal grape varieties are Aragonês, Alfrocheiro, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The property has a substantial chestnut grove, from which its name is derived — ‘souto’ refers to a wooded area planted with chestnut trees. Furthermore, the property has a large forested area amounting to 100 hectares, a third of which is covered with cork oaks, very much a feature of the Alentejo landscape.
The first vintage under our stewardship was 2017. The grapes were vinified on-site in the estate’s well-equipped winery. The debut vintage couldn’t have been more auspicious. We produced some very good white and red wines. The hot and dry debut year showed the benefit of the vineyard’s altitude, which ranges from 490 to 550 metres. We released the first wines in 2019.