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Symington Family Estates Announces the Release of the 2022 Vintage Ports from Quinta Do Vesúvio

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – April 18, 2024 – Symington Family Estates, owners of Quinta do Vesúvio, one of Portugal’s most prestigious wine estates, is delighted to announce the release of two Vintage Ports: 2022 Quinta do Vesúvio (SRP $120) and 2022 Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio (SRP $400) , a single vineyard Vintage Port, only made in the very best years. Both wines are produced in very small quantities. The 2022 Quinta Vintage Ports will be bottled in May and will be available from mid-June.

2022 Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port is made from the highest quality grapes sourced from the property. This release is especially exciting for the family, following the temporary closure of the estate’s foot-treading winery in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions. This was the first time since the winery was built in 1827 that no grapes were vinified here. To mark the return of Vesúvio Vintage Port, the 2022 label features a stunning illustration of the magnificent estate house and surrounding vineyards.

Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port is an exceptional expression of a few special vineyards at the Symington family ‘s magnificent Quinta do Vesúvio property.. Named after the estate’s beautiful chapel and neighboring vineyard, Capela do Vesúvio is made from 100-year-old vines which have been successively interplanted using original vine cuttings to preserve their unique characteristics. The 2022 vintage is only the fifth time that the family have made this wine, following the 2007, 2011, 2016 and 2017. 

“At Quinta do Vesúvio there were three micro-terroirs within the estate that sung beautifully in 2022. These were the three plots of vineyard that contribute to the limited-edition Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio Vintage Port. We only make this wine when these vineyards produce the power, structure and refinement required to create a standalone Vintage Port that expresses the unique characteristics of these vines. I believe that 2022 delivered such quality and am thrilled to announce the release of the fifth vintage of Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port, together with a very exciting Vintage Port from Quinta do Vesúvio.” – Charles Symington, Head Winemaker.

The 2022 growth cycle was one of the most challenging in the Douro, with the three months before the harvest being among the hottest and driest ever recorded. Pinhão in the heart of the Douro saw a 70% reduction in rainfall from November 2021 to August 2022, compared with the 30-year average. Portugal recorded the hottest July since 1931, with Pinhão registering the country’s highest ever temperature at 47°C. While the grape bunches and berries were smaller than usual, the family’s Head Winemaker, Charles Symington, was astonished by how well the vines performed under such unprecedented conditions. The resilient indigenous Douro vines delivered concentrated wines with lifted aromas and remarkable purity of fruit.

The Symington family’s assessment of the 2022 harvest was that various plots of vineyards within each of their principal estates produced small volumes of wine with excellent quality. They have chosen to combine the best performing components within each of their estates and bottle six Quinta Vintage Ports, including a rare bottling of Capela do Vesúvio Vintage Port. 

The following three Vintage Ports will be released en primeur in the US in 2024:

  • Quinta do Vesúvio 2022 Vintage Port
  • Capela da Quinta do Vesúvio 2022 Vintage Port
  • Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha 2022 Vintage Port (limited release)

The remaining four Quinta Vintage Ports will age in the Symington cellars for future release:

  • Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira 2022 Vintage Port
  • Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos 2022 Vintage Port
  • Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim 2022 Vintage Port
  • Cockburn’s Quinta dos Canais 2022 Vintage Port

About Quinta do Vesúvio

Quinta do Vesúvio is situated far upriver in the Douro Superior, 75 miles from Portugal’s Atlantic coast and less than 20 miles from the Spanish border. Since acquiring Quinta do Vesúvio in 1989, Symington Family Estates has sought to restore the quinta’s legendary reputation, including preserving the centuries-old method of treading the grapes in the granite lagares, which were built in 1827. Vesúvio is one of the last Douro Valley properties to maintain this tradition. 

Quinta do Vesúvio has a total area of 800 acres, of which 328 are planted to vines. The property has great variations in altitude, from over 400 feet at the riverside to over 1,700 feet at the top of the ridge. Vineyards face north, south, east and west, providing a remarkable range of conditions. The property’s scale and mountainous terrain make for vineyards with multiple aspects and altitude ranges, providing the necessary elements of fine Vintage Ports and excellent Douro wines. Located so far inland, the quinta experiences climatic extremes, reaching very high temperatures in summer and very low in winter. It is very dry, with an average of only 15 inches of rain falling each year. 

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 leading owner of prime vineyards in the Douro valley, with 26 Quintas covering 2,233 hectares, with 1,076 hectares 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 organized 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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