Home Industry News Releases Rupert Symington Appointed CEO, Symington Family Estates

Rupert Symington Appointed CEO, Symington Family Estates


SAN FRANCISCO, CA January 9, 2019 – Symington Family Estates, the Oporto, Portugal based wine group owned and managed for five generations by the Symington family, is pleased to announce Rupert Symington as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2019.

An historic and leading Port producer, Symington Family Estates includes global Port brands Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s, Warre’s, Smith Woodhouse and Quinta do Vesuvio. Rupert replaces Paul Symington, who announced his retirement at the end of last year.

Rupert will retain responsibility for sales in the U.S., a key market for Symington Family Estates.  In 2018 the premium Port category in the U.S. was #3 globally by value, after Portugal and the U.K. It also had the highest average case value where a significant portion of quality Ports including Reserve Ruby, aged Tawny and Vintage Port are purchased. In 2017 the U.S. market, at just over 400,000 cases, represented about 40 million US dollars in sales for the Port trade, up from nearly 30 million U.S. dollars in 2008.

Rupert noted that “there is considerable potential for further sales growth as U.S. wine consumers seek to expand their wine knowledge and explore less familiar wine categories. The rich heritage of Port and its unique ability to pair with desserts make it a continuing favorite for American wine lovers.”  

Symington Family Estates is the largest owner of top rated vineyards in the Douro Valley, as deemed by The Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP), with over 2,631 acres of vineyards in the region. They recently acquired a 500 acre wine estate, Quinta da Fonte Souto, in the Alentejo region of Southern Portugal and will be releasing its first wines in 2019. Alongside its wine interests, Symington Family Estates is actively developing experience-based tourism with award-winning visitor centres in Vila Nova de Gaia and the Douro Valley.

Rupert will continue to oversee the family’s interests in its Douro and Alentejo table wines and manage Prats & Symington, the partnership with Bordeaux based Bruno Prats that produces the acclaimed Douro red wine, Chryseia.

Rupert joined Symington Family Estates in 1992 and has been Joint Managing Director since 2004. Rupert previously worked as an investment analyst at a brokerage firm in London. He holds a Masters degree from Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau.

About Symington Family Estates

The Symingtons have been Port producers for five generations since 1882, but their involvement in Port dates back fourteen generations to 1652 through their great-grandmother Beatrice Leitão de Carvalhosa Atkinson. The family company is a leading quality Port producer and is the principal vineyard owner in the Douro Valley with 26 quintas (estates). Many of the region’s finest quintas belong to the family. For more information on Symington Family Estates, visit www.symington.com, blog.symington.com.

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