Prats & Symington
The Symington family are of both English and Portuguese origin, and have lived and worked in Portugal since the 19th century. Now 4th and 5th generation with 10 family members working across the business, they are unique in the historic Port companies in that all the family members farm their own vineyards, along with those under the family's joint company ownership, which incorporates both Port and Wine. They own and run four leading Port houses: Graham's, Dow's, Warre's and Cockburn's, as well as the Douro wine estates of Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano and Prats and Symington. They have also recently launched a new venture, Quinta da Fonte Souto, in the Alto Alentejo subregion of Portalegre. Their vineyards in the Douro Valley have 1,024 hectares under vine, 112 hectares of which are organic; this is the largest certified organic vineyard area in Northern Portugal. The vines are planted on steep terraced hillsides on well-draining schistous soils. The partnership between the Symington family and the Prats family of Bordeaux was formed in 1999, with the aim of applying Bruno Prats Bordeaux (CEO of the famous Château Cos d'Estournel in the Saint Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux until 1998) winemaking methods to Symington's grapes usually destined for great Vintage Ports. The first wine to be launched was Chryseia in 2000 to wide national and international acclaim. Since then Chryseia and their second wine, Post Scriptum, have constantly been among the most highly rated wines from the Douro. Prats and Symington wines are made at the beautiful Quinta da Roriz. This is one of the Douro's greatest estates, dating from 1565. The 42 hectare Roriz vineyard is complimented by the 23 hectare Quinta da Perdiz vineyard in the neighbouring Rio Torto Valley. James and Rupert Symington's Quinta da Vila Velha adjoins Roriz, and some of its best grapes are also used to make Chryseia and Post Scriptum. Chryseia was the first Portuguese non-fortified wine ever to be featured in The Wine Spectator's “Top 100 Wines of the World”. The Roriz vineyard gives a strong minerality, whereas Perdiz produces ripe, soft and velvety wines – together this is a match made in heaven!