The Symington family have acquired an important 207-hectare estate in the Alto Alentejo area of southern Portugal. This property includes 43 hectares of mature vineyard located at an altitude of 490 to 550 meters within the São Mamede National Park that rises to 1,025 meters, being the highest mountain range in the South of Portugal. The soils are well drained, being a mixture of schist and granite with plentiful water flowing from the wooded uplands that rise from the estate’s north-easterly boundary.
Portalegre is one of the Alentejo’s smallest wine regions with just 841 hectares of highly fragmented vineyards, but it enjoys an excellent climate that is strongly influenced by the Serra de São Mamede. The vineyards enjoy more moderate summer temperatures than those located on the lower-lying southerly plains of this large province.
For some years the Symington family have been searching for a fine vineyard in the Alentejo, and were increasingly drawn to this area by the soils, the areas temperate climate and the rapidly increasing quality of the wines being made here.
The estate, formally known as Altas Quintas, has been producing wines for many years, but the Symington family have chosen not to acquire any of the remaining stock. The family will embark on this new project solely with wines to be made by themselves, with the objective of producing wines of the highest quality.
Rupert Symington said: ‘After 135 years in the Douro our family felt that the time was right to make wine in another great Portuguese region. We love the Alto Alentejo and especially the location of this vineyard. We plan to make some exciting and interesting wines here’.