Port and table wine producer Symington Family Estates has ventured outside the Douro Valley with the purchase of a wine estate in the Alto Alentejo area of southern Portugal. 

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The 207-hectare property includes 43ha of mature vineyard at an altitude of 490-550m in the São Mamede National Park, the highest mountain range in the south of Portugal, Symington said today (12 April).

Described as having well-drained soils that are a mix of schist and granite, the vineyard is located in Portalegre, one of the Alentejo’s smallest wine regions, with 841ha of vineyards and a strong influence from the Serra de São Mamede mountain range.

symington, alto alentejo

The Symington family’s new estate in Alto Alentejo. Credit: Symington.

The acquisition is the culmination of a lengthy search by the Symingtons for a suitable vineyard in the Alentejo, with the family ‘increasingly drawn’ by the area’s soils, temperate climate and increasing wine quality.

The Symingtons will start from scratch, making all the wines themselves, and elected not to buy any of the remaining stocks of the estate, previously known as Altas Quintas.

‘After 135 years in the Douro our family felt that the time was right to make wine in another great Portuguese region,’ said Rupert Symington.

‘We love the Alto Alentejo and especially the location of this vineyard. We plan to make some exciting and interesting wines here.’

Financial details were not disclosed. For context, estate agency website Green-Acres was this week listing a 10-hectare ‘wine farm’ for sale in Portalegre, in northern Alentejo, for 1.2 million euros.

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