The School of Port concept was developed by Symington Family Estates in response to the coronavirus lockdown as a way of continuing the training sessions which had previously taken place off-line. The new initiative will consist of a series of free digital workshops and online video courses, designed for people working with port in both the on and off trade.
Requests for the first training module, “School of Port – The Essentials”, can be made via www.schoolofport.com. The contents include how port is made, the different styles, serves and pairing suggestions, as well as best practice advice for selling port in both the retail and restaurant environments. The workshops will be delivered by a professional port wine educator via Zoom, followed by a short test and certificate issued to successful participants.
The active School of Port Instagram account provides an informal, behind-the-scenes look at various aspects of how port is made and consumed. Short videos and infographics are punctuated by regular Instagram Lives with special guests and port wine experts. Weekly Expert Q&As have proved popular – allowing anyone to have their port queries answered.
“A big part of our work is educating people about the port category. Often people who don’t know about port become really enthusiastic once they learn more and taste the wines. We do a lot of consumer education through our tours and tastings in Porto and the Douro, but another crucial aspect is training the trade. People who work in wine shops and restaurants can be great ambassadors for port, if they have sufficient knowledge and an affinity for the category. We are excited to use School of Port to deliver engaging, contemporary and useful port education to wine trade professionals all around the world.”
Rob Symington – 5th generation port producer @ Symington Family Estates