Rupert Symington appointed CEO of Symington Family Estates

Rupert Symington has been appointed CEO of Symington Family Estates and Johnny Symington has been named chairman following the retirement of their cousin, Paul Symington, at the end of last year.

Rupert Symington has been appointed CEO of Symington Family Estates

Rupert took up the role of chief executive of his family’s Porto-based wine group on 1 January, putting him in charge of family treasures including historic Port houses Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s and Warre’s.

At the same time, his cousin, Johnny Symington, was named chairman of the company, having previously been joint managing director with Paul Symington.

Rupert joined Symington Family Estates in 1992 and has been joint managing director of the company since 2004. Prior to joining his family’s wine company, Rupert worked as an investment analyst at a brokerage firm in London. He holds a Masters degree from Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau.

The Symington clan’s Port making roots stretch back to 1652

In his new role of CEO he will retain responsibility for sales in the US, a key market for Symington Family Estates. Last year the premium Port category in America was number three globally by value after Portugal and the UK.

He will also continue to oversee the family’s interests in its Douro and Alentejo table wines and manage Prats & Symington, the partnership with Bordeaux-based Bruno Prats that produces revered Douro red, Chryseia.

Symington Family Estates is the largest owner of top rated vineyards in the Douro Valley, as deemed by The Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP), with over 1,065 hectares of vineyards in the region.

The company recently acquired Quinta da Fonte Souto, a 200 hectare estate in Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region, and will be releasing its first wines from there this year.

The firm is also developing experience-based tourism in Porto with visitor centres in Vila Nova de Gaia and the Douro Valley.

The Symingtons have been Port producers for five generations since 1882, but the family’s involvement in Port dates back fourteen generations to 1652. With 26 quintas, Symington Family Estates is the principal vineyard owner in the Douro Valley.

Having stepped down as chairman of SFE last year, Paul Symington remains chairman of John E Fells, and continues to be closely involved with the Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) working on its management committee with Frederic Drouhin, Miguel Torres and Hubert de Billy of Pol Roger.

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