Leading Port house reveals a contemporary and confident new look for its signature reserve Port
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 30th, 2021 – Leading Port house W. & J. Graham’s has redesigned the packaging of its Six Grapes Reserve Port with a contemporary look inspired by the wine’s celebrated history. 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.
The logo has been redesigned to reflect the original Six Grapes stencils traditionally used to mark barrels of the best wine from each harvest. The new bottle is elegantly tapered with rounded shoulders and a red capsule to represent the wine’s fruit-driven profile. The new package is being launched alongside a redesigned Six Grapes micro-site, https://sixgrapes.grahams-
The iconic Six Grapes symbol originated in the 19th century. Following each harvest, Graham’s winemakers would mark the barrels of Port using grape symbols to rate the wine from one to six. Having six of these symbols marked on the side of the barrel meant that the wine inside was complex, structured and balanced – and had Vintage Port potential. By the early 1900s, Graham’s had started producing a reserve Port selected from these barrels. Since then, Six Grapes has continued to be Graham’s signature reserve Port. It was served on the maiden voyage of the luxury ‘Queen Mary’ across the Atlantic in 1936 and again on the ‘Queen Mary II’ in 2004. The wine was also a personal favorite of Sir Winston Churchill with invoices from his wine merchant, Hatch Mansfield & Co. indicating that it was the only brand of Port the Prime Minister had ordered.
Today, Graham’s Six Grapes continues to grow in popularity among wine drinkers around the world. From 2015 to 2020, sales grew by 7% in volume and 19% in value. The brand is distributed in 38 markets, with a strong presence in both the on- and off-trade in its top five markets: Portugal, UK, US, Canada & the Netherlands. In the US, Six Grapes is the number one in the reserve ruby category by value.
Rupert Symington, CEO of Symington Family Estates, commented: “This is a wine with a remarkable story. We have ledgers in the Graham’s Lodge dating back to the end of the nineteenth century with small Six Grapes symbols in the margins that correspond with barrels containing the same mark. We wanted to honor these origins through the new design, while celebrating the standing of Six Grapes today and its appeal amongst a new generation of Port drinkers.”
Graham’s Six Grapes is a blend of vintage-quality wines from four indigenous Douro grape varieties – aromatic Touriga Franca; rich, tannic & well-structured Touriga Nacional; raspberry tinged Tinta Roriz; and chocolate noted Tinta Barroca. The wine is aged for two years in seasoned oak vats which preserves its youthful, blackberry fruit character. It pairs well with chocolate desserts and mature cheeses.
W & J Graham’s was founded in Porto in 1820. Renowned worldwide for producing outstanding Vintage Ports, Graham’s also produces a range of Aged Tawny Ports, Late Bottled Vintage, Reserve and Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Ports. Graham’s growing 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, numerous large oak vats, an extensive Vintage Port cellar and Vinum – one of Porto’s leading restaurants. Graham’s is owned by Symington Family Estates.
ABOUT SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATES
The Symingtons of Scottish, English and Portuguese descent have been Port producers in northern Portugal since 1882. For 5 generations they have combined their passion for producing fine wines and Ports with a deep commitment to the region’s land and people. Today, ten Symingtons work across their four Port houses: Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s, as well as their Douro wine brands – Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano and Prats & Symington (of Chryseia fame). In 2017 they launched 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 vineyard in the Douro. 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.
All Symington vineyards are sustainably managed under a minimum intervention certification and over 300 acres are organically farmed – the largest area of organic vineyard in northern Portugal. The family have invested significantly in viticulture R&D to adapt to climate change and have an ambitious sustainability plan, with a series of public goals under the banner of Mission 2025. In 2019 the company became a certified B Corporation – the first wine company in Portugal to take this step – joining a global community of businesses audited for the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. Symington was named Ethical Company of the Year in The Drinks Business 2019 Green Awards.