Developed by premium Port producers Symington Family Estates, School of Port is a free initiative that delivers engaging, contemporary, and useful Port education for wine professionals and wine lovers.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 27, 2021 – Symington Family Estates has launched The Essentials, a 16-episode video course that provides a comprehensive exploration of Port. Hosted by experienced Port educator Isabel Monteiro, the course is divided into five key chapters – History, Douro Terroir, Production, Ageing, and Storing, Serving & Pairing. Each episode is around 3 to 5 minutes in length, with Monteiro teaching viewers about the fundamentals of Port in an informal and engaging way at different locations. Participants who have viewed all episodes are invited to take a short online test to assess their Port knowledge. Successful participants are issued a School of Port certificate and rewarded with a bonus episode.
Symington Family Estates first launched School of Port in response to the coronavirus lockdown as a way of continuing Port training sessions which had previously taken place offline. The core offering has been a bespoke workshop for wine trade professionals, conducted online by a Port wine educator. Since launching, over 1,300 people have taken the workshop. The Essentials video course was developed in response to the large volume of requests for online training, which participants could take in their own time, at their own pace.
Rob Symington, 5th generation Port producer at Symington Family Estates says, “When we first launched School of Port our goal was to provide engaging online workshops primarily for trade professionals, with the Instagram account being the channel that was accessible to consumers. Over the last year, however, we had many requests from wine lovers for further Port training to take in their own time – and we developed The Essentials online course in response. We are excited to be broadening the School of Port’s educational offering and showing both wine professionals and consumers around the world the versatility of Port and its relevance today.”
The new online course joins School of Port’s active Instagram account, featuring rich educational content, including expert Q&As, infographics, and interviews with people connected to the Port trade. Most recently, the platform has released a series of ‘how-to’ videos called Portorials – available on the School of Port Instagram and YouTube channels. This includes how to – read a Port label, make a Port & Tonic, decant Vintage Port, and find vegan Ports. An introduction to The Essentials video course can be found here.
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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 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 leading owner of prime vineyard in the Douro valley, with 26 Quintas covering 2,462 hectares and 1,114 ha of vineyard. The family business is a founding member of Primum Familiae Vini – an association of 12 European wine families – and in 2020 was voted in 7th place in The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list by a panel of over 200 international wine experts organised by Drinks International.
All Symington vineyards are sustainably managed under a minimum intervention certification and 130 ha 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.
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