Home Industry News Releases W. & J. Graham’s Celebrates 200 Years of Producing Premium Ports

W. & J. Graham’s Celebrates 200 Years of Producing Premium Ports


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 4, 2020 – W. & J. Graham’s, one of the world’s premier Port producers, is celebrating 200 years since its founding in 1820 in Porto, Portugal by brothers William and John Graham. Acquired by Symington Family Estates in 1970, W. & J. Graham’s has been an independent family business renowned for producing the finest Port wines for two centuries.

Graham’s first harvest under the ownership of the Symington family is acclaimed for Graham’s 1970 Vintage Port, thought by many to be one of the greatest wines of the twentieth century, and the consistent production of top Ports since. W. & J. Graham’s has long been a pioneer in the Douro Valley of Portugal. It was one of the first Port companies to invest in its own vineyards in the 1890s and remains at the forefront of innovation in winemaking techniques.

Today ten Symington cousins share responsibility for every aspect of the company. They have been part of the Port trade and the Douro Valley for many generations, with ancestry dating back to the mid-17th century. In addition to the family’s other Port marques, Graham’s remains one of the few remaining Port companies independently owned by a single family. 

W. & J. Graham’s maintains a historic lodge from 1890, a working cellar located on a ridge in Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River from Porto. The lodge was recently renovated by the Symington family and all its original features have been restored. The building houses over 2,000 pipes (barrels) and countless large oak vats of ageing Port wine, as well as an extensive cellar of Vintage Port, ageing in bottle. Visitors to the Graham’s Lodge can experience the best of two centuries of craftsmanship and heritage.

Rupert Symington, CEO of Symington Family Estates commented, “This year marks an incredible milestone for Graham’s. Had it not been for our great grandfather, Andrew James, who came to Porto from Glasgow at age 19 in 1882 to work for Graham’s, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The determination and commitment of previous generations of our family is remarkable and we are extremely proud to have produced some of the world’s most exceptional wines throughout the past centuries. We look forward to carrying on Graham’s remarkable legacy as we continue to use cutting edge winemaking techniques, focus on sustainability and our award winning designs, while staying true to Graham’s heritage.”

W. & J. Graham’s Port is imported to the United States by Premium Port Wines and is available in restaurants and retailers nationwide. For more information or photos, please  contact Michelle Keene at [email protected].

About Symington Family Estates

The Symingtons of Scottish, English and Portuguese descent have been Port producers in northern Portugal since 1882. For five generations they have combined their passion for producing premium Ports and wines with a deep commitment to the region’s land and people. Today ten Symingtons work across their four famous Port houses – Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s – as well as their Douro wine projects – Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano and Prats & Symington (of Chryseia fame) – and a new venture, Quinta da Fonte Souto in the Alto Alentejo.

Symington Family Estates is a leading premium Port producer and the family is the leading vineyard owners in the Douro Valley, with 26 Quintas covering 5,527 acres and 2,530 acres of vineyard. Their vineyards are managed under sustainable viticulture practices and 276 acres are organically farmed, the largest area of organic vineyards in the Douro. In 2019 Symington Family Estates became the first winery in Portugal to achieve B Corp certification. Symington Family Estates is unique amongst the major Port companies in that each working family member farms their own vineyard, alongside those under the family’s joint company ownership.

About W. & J. Graham’s

Founded in Porto in 1820, Graham’s is renowned worldwide for producing an outstanding range of Aged Tawny Ports, Late Bottled Vintage, Reserve and Quinta Vintage Ports. Graham’s success in the 19th century resulted in the acquisition of the famous Quinta dos Malvedos in the Alto Douro and in the construction of the imposing Graham’s 1890 Lodge. Overlooking the city of Porto, the Graham’s Lodge houses over 3,500 seasoned oak casks of Port, numerous large oak vats and an extensive Vintage Port cellar. Graham’s is owned by the Port-producing Symington family. For more information visit www.grahams-port.com.