Symington family releases Alentejo wines

Symington Family Estates has released the first wines from its Alentejo estate, the first wines the company has ever produced from outside the Douro.

The new range consists of five wines which have been produced at Quinta da Fonte Souto, in the Portalegre sub-region of the Alentejo in southern Portugal.

Acquired in 2017 by the family, it is the first time that the Symingtons have produced wines that are not from the Douro.

Situated between 490 and 550 metres above sea level in the Serra de São Mamede mountains, it is one of the highest places in Portugal south of the Tagus river and the Portalegre region is also cooler and wetter than other parts of the Alentejo as it straddles the meeting of what are considered the Atalantic and Mediterranean influences to the west and south respectively. The soils are largely granite and schist.

The production of the first wines were overseen by head winemaker Charles Symington and the ‘flagship’ wine, Vinha do Souto is a blend of syrah and Alicante Bouschet.

There are then a red and white under the ‘Quinta da Fonte Souto’ label which are also blends of Portuguese and international varieties and another pair of red and white wines under the ‘Florão’ label which are designed for drinking young.

As well as vines the family is planning to reforest 100 hectares of the estate that lie within the Serra de São Mamede Natural park, with indigenous trees.

The forest will then be managed as a nature reserve.

Rupert Symington, CEO of Symington Family Estates, commented: “This stunning property has many appealing characteristics for our family. With its higher altitude, it has a cooler, wetter microclimate than the hot Alentejo plain, and its less fertile soils produce low yields of excellent quality grapes.

“Both factors make it an ideal site for us, given our long experience in the challenging conditions of the Douro. We believe we can produce some really special and unique wines from these vineyards.”

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