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    Graham's Port Granted Royal Warrant

    Symington Family Estates has been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment from Her Majesty The Queen as Suppliers of Graham’s Port. The Symington family and all who work with them in the Douro vineyards and Gaia Lodges are pleased and proud that this honour has been given. 

    Johnny Symington said; “Our great grandfather Andrew James had the Royal Warrant from King George V for Dow’s Port, so it is with great pride that we now receive the Royal Warrant for our Graham’s Port. We feel that our ancestors would have been as pleased as we are with this historic honour, as with the fact that my generation has kept the family Port company united and successful well into the 21st century”.



      The small 2.9-hectare Stone Terrace vineyard at Quinta dos Malvedos produced an extraordinary wine in 2015. The grapes were picked by hand on the 12th and 13th of September, a couple of days before substantial rain fell across the Douro Valley, and were then fermented in lagares in the estate’s own winery. Yields were incredibly low at just 0.82 kg per vine but several hours of treading over the following days delivered a magnificent wine with sublime floral aromas of violets.

      The Stone Terrace vineyard at Malvedos is composed of three parcels in a narrow curving valley and all are immediately adjacent, one facing north, another due east and one due west. None faces south. In most of this vineyard there is just one row of vines on each terrace, and walls are between 1.6 and 3 meters high. The warm surface stones in the soil and the walls themselves play an important role in sustaining maturation through the night, while the balance achieved by the varying aspects is key to this rare wine.

      Graham’s Stone Terraces Vintage Port is only bottled when this vineyard produces an incomparable wine deriving from its unique location and layout; predominantly a single row of vines on each traditional dry stone-walled terrace, and the quality does not necessarily follow the pattern of general Vintage Port declarations.  The Symington family, owners of Graham’s, believe that the 2015 Stone Terraces will age superbly as a remarkable Vintage Port of extraordinary elegance and complexity.

      The first ever Stone Terraces was the 2011 Vintage Port which received exceptional reviews from the international press; 97 points Wine Spectator, 18.5/20 Jancis Robinson and was called ‘a masterpiece’ by leading Portuguese commentator, Manuel Carvalho.



      The Drinks International magazine has conducted its 6th annual survey of the World’s 50 Most Admired Wine Brands. The jury consists of over 200 leading figures in the wine sector, masters of wine, sommeliers and journalists.

      The 2016 survey has nominated Graham’s as the World’s Most Admired Port Brand and the 14th Most Admired Wine Brand in the world.

      Dow’s Port, also owned and managed by the Symington family, was placed 31 in the World’s 50 Most Admired Wine Brands.

      Other wines in the World’s 50 Most Admired Port Brand include Vega Sicilia, Penfolds, Château d’Yquem, Château Margaux, Guigal, Château Latour, Cloudy Bay, Mateus and Cheval Blanc.

      The Symington family said; ‘We are very proud to have earned this prominent position amongst the best wines in the world. This wonderful endorsement is the result of generations of work in our Douro vineyards and in our caves in Vila Nova de Gaia, as well as to the loyalty and the great skill of the people who work with us in our project of excellence.’


        The Symington family is pleased to announce their decision to declare 2011 as a Vintage year. This is only the third Vintage Port declaration for all the Symingtons’ Port companies since 2000. The 2011 Vintage Ports are of an exceptional quality and are expected to age superbly over the coming decades. The weather is the decisive factor in creating outstanding wines in the Douro and the strong winter rains in late 2010 were crucial. April and May 2011 were unusually warm and, combined with some rainfall, resulted in a reduction in the overall production of the region.

        The warm spring encouraged early budburst, flowering and veraison. Similar conditions occurred across most of Europe, leading to predictions of a harvest several weeks before normal. It was clear in the Douro, however, that although the sugars were rising in the berries, the tannins were unripe as there was insufficient humidity in the soil to allow the grapes to fully mature. Only 25 mm of rain fell in May, June and July 2011 compared to the average of 97 mm, so by mid-August the vines were showing signs of stress. On August 21st rain swept in from the west and over the Serra do Marão, and again on the 1st and 2nd September. This beautifully timed rain was perfect for those producers who had the courage to avoid the early rush, and was followed by a succession of fine sunny weeks well into October. The scene was set for the making of superb Ports.

        All of the Symington family’s 2011 Vintage Ports were made in lagares (open treading tanks) and all the grapes came from the family’s own vineyards. Selection has been rigorous and only the finest barrels have been chosen, so the quantity bottled represents a very small proportion of the production of the family vineyards. For example the Graham’s 2011 Vintage Port represents 8,000 cases (9%) out of the potential 88,850 cases produced at the five Graham’s vineyards.

        The Symington family’s substantial investment in the 1980’s is now bearing fruit with vineyards of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, amongst others, now well over 25 years old. These vines are producing superb quality grapes and are invaluable, together with the vineyards of very old mixed vines that were planted by the grandfathers and greatgrandfathers of the current generation. The additional investment in several small specialist wineries, all equipped with lagares, has allowed the family to make Vintage Ports of quite outstanding quality.

        The 2011 Vintage Ports have an exceptional depth of colour and concentration, rarely seen in the Douro and with marked minerality from the schistous Douro soil. The palate has superb balance, with a powerful and rich bitter-chocolate taste, in hand with wild berry fruit, supported by well-structured and schist-edged tannins that will give these wines the traditional longevity for which the great Vintage Ports are so famous.


          Graham’s, the premier marque of Symington Family Estates, leading producer of premium Ports, has re-launched its range of cask-matured Tawny Ports. These wines are founded on the historic arts of blending, cooperage and careful ageing.

          The traditional style of Graham's Tawny Ports has been maintained, using the wines set aside decades ago in the Graham’s 1890 lodge. However, Charles Symington, 4th generation winemaker and blender, has worked to further develop the wines’ secondary flavours, with refined tannins and balance in order to leave the palate fresh, avoiding the excess sweetness that can mark some Tawny Ports. These blending refinements have resulted from the use of some of Graham’s greatest assets: the long-term investment in very substantial stocks of Tawny Ports ageing in the 1890 Lodge, and the use of a large number of seasoned oak casks, many over 100 years old, in which all Graham’s Tawny Ports are aged.

          In an important step, Charles and his cousins have decided to use only wines matured in the Graham’s 1890 Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia and to exclude wines aged in the Douro. This decision was taken after extensive blending trials over recent years. The 1890 Lodge is situated just 3 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and enjoys naturally moderate annual temperatures compared to the intense summer heat in the Douro Valley. The Atlantic influence has a profound impact and particularly suits the style of Graham’s Tawny Ports.

          As a tribute to the people who help make these wines, the signature of Emílio Correia, Graham’s master cooper is on the 20 Years Old label and that of António Monteiro, Graham’s cellar master, is on the 30 Years Old, both alongside that of Charles Symington, master blender. It is unprecedented in the Port trade for the people that help make the wines to be recognised in this way.
          The new range of Graham’s Tawny Ports is presented in an especially
          commissioned white glass bottle in order to fully appreciate the golden amber colours of classic Tawny Ports.

          The appreciation of these wines has now become an even more rewarding experience. Graham’s and the Symington family strongly encourage consumers to enjoy these great wines lightly chilled and in reasonable sized wine glasses.



            Symington has released a special edition Graham’s Six Grapes Old Vines – Winston Churchill’s favoured Port – to commemorate 100 years of its Six Grapes blend.

            Graham’s Vintage Character Port, the name previously given to Six Grapes by merchants in the UK, was a personal favourite of Sir Winston Churchill with invoices from his wine merchant, Hatch, Mansfield and Co., indicating it was the only brand of Port the politician had ordered throughout his lifetime.

            Made from the very oldest vines on Graham’s Douro vineyards, the Special Edition Six Grapes has been produced from the oldest vines from across Graham’s five Quintas, many of which are over fifty years old.

            The 2011 and 2012 vintages were said to be “outstanding years” in the Douro with wines from both of these harvest used to create Six Grapes Old Vines.

            The Six Grapes symbol has been used to identify Port barrels containing Graham’s very best and vintage wines since the nineteenth century.

            A limited number of Six Grapes Old Vines bottles will be stocked at merchants across the UK including Fenwicks, New Street Wine Shop and Cambridge Wine.



              The well-known Spanish wine enthusiasts website,, has listed the Graham’s Lodge shop as one of the 12 most spectacular wine shops in the world.

              The list, featuring architecturally diverse spaces from around the world specifically praises the historic lodge, whose renovation was overseen by the architect Luis Loureiro and designer Nuno Gusmão. Their work has been recognised for its minimalist style which has successfully transformed the historic building without losing the authenticity or uniqueness of the space.

              Also mentioned in the list is the fantastic flagship store of the Société des alcools du Québec in Montreal, Vintage Fine Wines in Manhattan, New York, and Altaya Wine’s “Etc” in Hong Kong. It is an honour to see Graham’s Lodge shop and Vila Nova de Gaia among the names of some of the worlds greatest cities.

              The full list can be found at:

              You can read more at:

                GRAHAM'S 1890 LODGE WINS BEST OF WINE TOURISM 2015

                Great Wine Capitals

                W & J Graham’s 1890 Lodge has once again received international accolades. This time from the “Great Wine Capitals”, a network of ten major cities around the world which aims to promote travel, education, and business exchanges between the most prestigious wine regions in the world.

                The Graham’s Lodge was awarded the “Best of Wine Tourism 2015” in the category of “Wine Tourism Services” for outstanding offerings in the fields of service, innovation, creativity and authenticity.

                A special mention must be made of the multi-national team of expert guides without whom this award would not have been possible. In constant training with both our viticulture team in the Douro Valley and our wine makers, the staff have first hand knowledge of all aspects of port. Our team is currently comprised of 11 different nationalities: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Danish, German, and Dutch.

                The “Best of Wine Tourism” awards are internationally renowned as a celebration of excellence and innovation in worldwide wine tourism. And so it is with great pride that Graham’s receives these honours, as they bear witness to the hard work and effort put into the W & J Graham’s 1890 Lodge since its refurbishment.

                You can read more on our blog at:



                  "Across the river estuary from Porto is Vila Nova de Gaia, the home of all the large wine lodges. Most organize wine tastings and tours but undoubtedly the best one to visit is Graham's, which is a little removed from the rest and has recently undergone a €2.5 million refurbishment."

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