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Known For Port, Symington Expands Its Table Wine Portfolio

October 23, 2019

Symington Family Estates is best known for its range of Port brands—including names like Dow’s, Graham’s, Cockburn’s, and Warre’s—which totals about 1.8 million cases annually. But the company is also investing aggressively in table wine, and recently launched a new super-premium label, Quinta da Fonte Souto, in the U.S. through its Premium Port Wines subsidiary.

Quinta da Fonte Souto, a 511-acre estate in the Portalegre subregion of Portugal’s Alto Alentejo area acquired in 2017, marks Symington’s first foray outside the Douro region. The range includes a Tinto DOC Alentejo, Portalegre composed of Alicante Bouschet, Tinta Amarela, Alfrocheiro, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah ($25); a Branco Alentejo, Portalegre white blend of Arinto and Verdelho ($25); and a Vinha do Souto DOC Alentejo, Portalegre made of Alicante Bouschet and Syrah ($55). About 5,000 cases were produced for the first vintage.

Portuguese table wines have been trending upward in the U.S. in recent years, with shipments rising from less than 1 million cases in 2012 to 1.75 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank. Symington Family Estates CEO Rupert Symington sees an opportunity to build on that momentum, as U.S. tourism to Portugal continues to surge and consumers become more familiar with the category.

“We’ve found the $25-$30 price point to be the best position for our table wines. It’s very crowded at $15-$20,” Symington says, adding that Portugal’s price-value equation remains highly favorable at that level compared with most other wine regions.

Overall, Symington now produces about 150,000 cases of table wine annually, also including Douro brands like Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta do Ataide, Altana Douro, and Prats & Symington. In addition to the recent move in Alentejo, the company also continues to invest behind its Douro-based table wines, with a new winery project in the region in the works.—Daniel Marsteller

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