The Symington family is releasing a new wine, the Altano Rewilding Edition in collaboration with Rewilding Portugal, a not-for-profit that is pioneering an ambitious conservation strategy on a 120,000-hectare wildlife corridor in the Greater Côa Valley in northern Portugal. Every sale of the Altano Rewilding Edition will contribute financial support to Rewilding Portugal’s efforts to protect and restore natural landscapes in Portugal’s interior. This initiative by Symington Family Estates is in addition to the existing funding of €15,000 per year provided to the Rewilding Portugal team via the recently announced Symington Impact Fund.
The new Rewilding edition released under Symington’s Altano brand is a classic Douro blend, sourced from higher altitude vineyards to produce a fresh, elegant and fruit-driven wine, using the Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca varieties. The wine comes in a unique cardboard bag-in-tube format holding 2.25 litres (pictured), the equivalent of three bottles. Once opened the wine remains drinkable over a period of four to six weeks. The bag-in-tube is easy to recycle and has a much lower carbon footprint than the equivalent volume in glass.
Of Scottish, English and Portuguese descent, the Symingtons have been port producers in northern Portugal for five generations since 1882, 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.
All Symington vineyards are sustainably managed under a minimum intervention certification and 130 hectares 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 Mission 2025 banner.
Says Rob Symington – Director and 5th generation member of the family, “We’re really excited about this wine, which is a fantastic, accessible showcase of a Douro red in an innovative new format, and we are pleased to be raising awareness of Rewilding Portugal’s important conservation work in the Côa Valley, just a few kilometres away from our vineyards in the Douro Superior. As the environmental and climate crises accelerate, we need to see practical solutions being implemented at scale. Rewilding is emerging as a multi-faceted solution to many of the environmental problems we face in the 21st century.”
Rewilding is an innovative approach to large-scale conservation on abandoned or marginal land. It aims to restore natural processes and wildlife corridors, with a particular focus on keystone species. Rewilding Portugal is part of the Rewilding Europe network, which works with partners in eight countries and was recently featured in a new TV series by National Geographic –Europe’s New Wild.