Symington Family Estates are the leading producers of premium quality Ports. The combined sales of the familys Port companies make up over a third of all premium Port sold throughout the world.
Seven Symingtons work in the family business, six from the 13th generation in the Port trade via their great grandmother Beatrice Atkinson. From the Douro vineyards through the winemaking, ageing and tasting, a member of the family is directly responsible for every bottle of Port they produce. The family commitment to their wines is stronger than ever after 350 years, an unparalleled tradition in the Port trade.
The Symington Family are descended from Andrew James Symington and Beatrice Atkinson who married in Oporto in 1891. From Walter Maynard and over three centuries, ancestors of the Symingtons have played an important role in the history of the Port trade. By 1905 Andrew James Symington was a partner in the ancient firm of Warre & Co and in 1912, by way of a share swop, he became a partner in Dow’s Port. Andrew James and his three sons, who were born and raised in Portugal; Maurice, John and Ron, helped restore Port’s position in world markets after the 1914-1918 World War. After the Second World War, the next generation of Symingtons born into the Port trade: Michael, Ian and James, were largely instrumental in bringing Vintage Port back into fashion in world markets. They achieved this at a very difficult time for Port when many other producers sold their companies because they could see no future. In 1970 the Symington family bought Graham’s, one of the Port trade’s greatest companies. In the last twenty years, the Symington family have continued to play a leading role in the Port trade. At Quinta de Cavadinha the family have 3 hectares of experimental vineyard where the principle Douro grape varieties are planted on 9 different root stocks in order to assess the relative aptitude of each.
In this pioneering vineyard work of several years, the Symingtons hope to further improve the quality of their wines. In the wineries, the Symington family have developed a radical and ground breaking ‘robotic lagar’, the only wine making system in the Douro that exactly replicates the action of human feet in the traditional stone lagares. Time and experience has shown that these ‘robotic lagares’ make even better wine than the traditional lagares that the Symingtons still use at several key estates.
Over recent years the family have developed a number of specialised wineries at key vineyards in the Douro. Some of the world’s most sophisticated wine making equipment has been installed in centuries old adegas, successfully balancing the best of tradition with the latest technology to make the finest Port possible.
Symington is member of Primum Familiae Vini.