A day to celebrate
We are delighted to announce that our iconic vineyard – a true piece of British heritage, established in 1952 – is now officially part of the Berry Bros & Rudd and the Symington families, as the acquisition was confirmed this morning.
Berry Bros & Rudd, the UK’s oldest fine wine and spirits merchant in its 325th year, and Symington Family Estates, the world’s leading producer of premium port (both Royal Warrant holders) are two of the most highly-respected British-owned family businesses. Their interest in our wines is a recognition of our teams’ hard work and constant quest for excellence, and represents growing confidence in the dynamic English sparkling wine category and its future potential.
An exciting new chapter ahead
Lizzy Rudd, Chair of Berry Bros. & Rudd says; “We are delighted to confirm this exciting joint venture with Symington Family Estates. Together, we are committed to sustainable viticulture and winemaking, and we believe that this business, which was the first commercial English vineyard of the modern era, has the foundations and potential to lead the way in the English sparkling wine category.
Johnny Symington, Chair of Symington Family Estates, added; “It was going to take something very special for us to make wine in a new country, having produced port and wine in Portugal for five generations. Following lengthy analysis of the English sparkling wine category we are thrilled to be acquiring one of the leading producers in partnership with Berry Bros. & Rudd.
“The quality of the wines is absolutely spectacular and is a reflection of the fantastic Hambledon terroir – with classic Champagne varieties planted exclusively on chalk soils and an extremely favourable microclimate situated in Hampshire close to the English Channel. We believe that these are world-class sparkling wines that will play a leading role in the development of English sparkling into a world-renowned fine wine.”
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 Vesúvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano, Prats & Symington (of Chryseia fame), and Vértice (one of Portugal’s leading sparkling wines). They also produce wine at Quinta da Fonte Souto in the Alto Alentejo and Casa de Rodas in Monção & Melgaço.
Symington Family Estates is the world’s leading premium port producer and farms the largest area of prime (‘A’ rated) vineyard in the Douro valley, with 26 Quintas (estates) covering 2,462 hectares and 1,114 ha of vineyard. The family business is a founding member of Primum Familiae Vini – an association of 12 European wine families – and in 2020 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. The company is 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. In 2023 Symington Family Estates became the first wine producer in Portugal to achieve the new Sustainable Winegrowing Certification, following a rigorous audit.