SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., November 28, 2022 – Symington Family Estates, producers of some of the finest Ports in the world for five generations, has announced an exceptional bottling and limited release of its Six Grapes Reserve Port Special Vila Velha Edition from Graham’s.
The Six Grapes ‘Special Vila Velha Edition’ is a limited bottling, drawn exclusively from the finest grapes grown at Quinta da Vila Velha – one of the four Douro estates that supplies Graham’s Port. The property was purchased by the late third-generation Port producer, James Symington, in 1987. For over three decades, James restored and extended the quinta into a well-tended 145-hectare riverside property with 55 hectares under vine. With its privileged position on the south bank of the Douro River, Vila Velha produces well-structured and balanced wines that form key components of Graham’s Vintage Ports.
Rupert Symington, CEO of Symington Family Estates and James’ son, commented: “We have bottled this limited edition wine to celebrate both my father and the estate that he restored over 30 years and has since passed into my care. With floral fragrances of pine resin and eucalyptus, together with an opulent palate of concentrated black fruits, the wine is a wonderful expression of Quinta da Vila Velha and a fitting tribute to my father’s work.”
The Symington family has produced this Special Edition Reserve Ruby Port to mark James’ passing in 2020 and to honor his role in developing Graham’s iconic Six Grapes label. The Six Grapes symbol originated in the 19th century as the code that Graham’s winemakers used to identify the barrels containing the very best wines from each harvest, which were often bottled as Vintage Port. By the early 1900’s, Graham’s started bottling a Reserve Port selected from these barrels. While over a century later Six Grapes continues to be Graham’s signature reserve wine, the label had become largely disused in 1970 when the Symington family purchased the Port house. James worked tirelessly for over a decade to revive the Six Grapes label. Today, Graham’s Six Grapes is distributed in 38 markets, with a strong presence in both the on- and off-trade in its top five markets: Portugal, US, UK, Canada and the Netherlands. It is one of the leading Ports in the USA.
The ‘Special Vila Velha Edition’ follows two previous limited bottlings of Six Grapes – one drawn exclusively from Graham’s ‘Old Vines’ and another from its ‘River Quintas’. With just 12,000 bottles produced, the Six Grapes Vila Velha edition is a hand-crafted wine in honor of James Symington.
ABOUT GRAHAM’S PORT
W & J Graham’s was founded in Porto in 1820. Renowned worldwide for producing outstanding Vintage Ports, Graham’s also produces a range of Aged Tawny Ports, Late Bottled Vintage, Reserve and Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Ports. Graham’s growing success in the 19th Century resulted in the acquisition of the famous Quinta dos Malvedos in the Alto Douro and in the construction of the imposing Graham’s 1890 Lodge. Overlooking the city of Porto, the Graham’s Lodge houses over 3,500 seasoned oak casks, numerous large oak vats, an extensive Vintage Port cellar and Vinum – one of Porto’s leading restaurants. Graham’s is owned by Symington Family Estates.
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ABOUT SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATES
The Symingtons of Scottish, English and Portuguese descent have been Port producers in northern Portugal since 1882. For 5 generations they have combined their passion for producing fine wines and Ports with a deep commitment to the region’s land and people. Today, ten Symingtons work across their four Port houses: Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s, as well as their Douro wine brands – Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano and Prats & Symington (of Chryseia fame). In 2017 they launched a new venture, Quinta da Fonte Souto, in the Alto Alentejo.
Symington Family Estates is a leading premium Port producer and the leading owner of vineyards in the Douro valley, with 26 different Quintas covering 2,233 hectares, with 1,076 hectares of vineyard. The family business is a founding member of Primum Familiae Vini – an association of 12 historic European wine families. In 2020 Symington was voted in 7th place in The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list by a panel of over 200 international wine experts organised by Drinks International.
All Symington vineyards are sustainably managed under a minimum intervention certification and 130 ha are organically farmed – the largest area of organic vineyard in northern Portugal. The family have invested significantly in viticulture R&D to adapt to climate change and have an ambitious sustainability plan, with a series of public goals under the banner of Mission 2025. In 2019 the company became a certified B Corporation – the first wine company in Portugal to take this step – joining a global community of businesses audited for the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. Symington was named Ethical Company of the Year in The Drinks Business 2019 Green Awards.