Leading Port trade figure Ian Symington dies

Ian Symington, a leading figure in the Port trade and Symington Family Estates as they re-established themselves in the aftermath of the Second World War, has died aged 90.

Born in Porto in 1929, Ian was educated at the Oporto British School and then Downside in Somerset.

He served in the Seaforth Highlanders during the war and returned to Portugal in 1949 to join his father John and uncles Maurice and Ron at the family company.

Ian and his cousins began work re-establishing markets that had been brushed to one side by the war and whose loss had forced many other Port companies to close.

By the 1960s sales had begun to pick up once more and the Symington cousins began shoring up the foundations of the successful company their own children and grandchildren have inherited.

Ian in particular was renowned for his “meticulous preparation, determination and negotiating skills”.

He adored the Douro and was, along with his wife Cynthia, renowned as a fine host and welcomed many to their homes in Porto and the Douro (the latter at Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira) which only helped strengthen his friendship and partnership with his customers.

He and Cynthia had three children: Susie, Nicky and Johnny – Johnny joined the company in 1985 and through them eight grandchildren (one of whom, Vicky, now works for the company as well) and one great-grandson.

One Response to “Leading Port trade figure Ian Symington dies”

  1. Charles Crawfurd says:

    Very Sad news. Ian was part of that triumvirate of Symingtons, Michael, Ian and James that did so much to hold high the standards of Port at a very turbuent time in modern Portuguese history after the revolution in 1974. A great ambassador for the brands and a gifted wnemaker. A loss to the wine world. I am glad he lived long enough to enjoy many fine glasses of his ports.

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