One hundred UK memberships to the Matriarca wine club have been offered by Symington Family Estates, which makes premium wines in the Douro, Alentejo and Vinho Verde, and owns several leading Port houses, including Graham’s and Dow’s.
Membership costs £750 per year, said Symington, adding this includes a biannual, curated selection of six bottles of Portuguese still wines and Ports, plus invitations to exclusive events and tastings in the UK and Portugal.
Members will also have access to an online shop where they can buy older vintages, limited-edition bottlings and recent releases ‘not readily available elsewhere in the UK’, said the company.
The Symington family initially launched its Matriarca club in October, welcoming the first 100 members in Portugal.
Its name is inspired by the family’s original matriarch in Portugal, Beatriz Leitão Carvalhosa Atkinson, who married the first Symington to live in Porto, shortly after arriving in 1882.
Charlotte Symington, fifth-generation family member in the company, said the group was delighted to bring Matriarca to the UK.
‘Matriarca was born out of a desire to create a community around a shared passion, whilst drawing inspiration from our matriarch, Beatriz Leitão Carvalhosa Atkinson, who had a well-known flair for creating convivial moments around good food and wine.’
Symington added, ‘We want to create a small, dynamic community of people from Portugal and the UK – the two countries that represent my family – to celebrate the very best of Portugal.’
When visiting Portugal, Matriarca club members can also enjoy discounts and benefits at the Symington family’s restaurants, cellars and wineries, as well as at some establishments owned by friends of the family.
As well as Graham’s and Dow’s, Symington Family Estates also owns Port houses Cockburn’s and Warre’s. Its Portuguese wine holdings also feature Douro-based Quinta do Vesúvio and Quinta do Ataíde.
Earlier this year, Taylor’s Port owner The Fladgate Partnership announced an expansion into Portuguese still wines via the purchase of key vineyards.
Portugal also saw a strong increase in Gold medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) in 2023, with fortified and non-fortified wines both well-represented.