Symington Family Estates has made their home in the Douro Valley for more than 130 years. For five generations the family has produced premium ports and wines. As the business has been handed down from generation, so has a commitment to the region’s land and people. This commitment is evident in their recent B-Corp certification, a certification issued to fewer than 30 wine companies world-wide.
A Certified B Corp is a business that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. They have gone beyond just merely turning a profit; they have joined a community of 2,600 other businesses who work toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and creating high quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
Inspired by a group of seven B-Corp wineries in Oregon who work together to develop social and environmental practices, Symington sought B-Corp certification with the hopes of starting a similar movement of B-Corp wine companies in Portugal. The path to certification took 6 months and involved several departments that span the entire company.
All brands under the Symington umbrella, including Warre’s Port, adhere to B-Corp sustainability standards. Warre’s is as an excellent example of all the emphasis the company is placing on sustainability — from research and development to carbon emissions, the team is focused on every detail of the winemaking process.
Below are a few examples of the sustainability efforts at Warre’s:
- Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha has a weather station on site, collecting a range of information to guide viticulture decisions and to understand the impact of climate change. Data is collected on rainfall, sunlight hours, temperature, humidity, and wind.
- Warre’s vineyards are certified annually by STAIVA, a sustainable viticulture protocol that has strict minimum intervention requirements. The many old terraces famous in the Douro are preserved and maintained.
- Warre’s is focused on low-impact, recyclable packaging. Approximately 65% of the glass used in Warre’s bottles comes from recycled sources and approximately 90% of the cardboard used in Warre’s packaging comes from recycled sources.
- Symintgon Family Estates is conducting studies on reducing the weight of their bottles to reduce the amount of glass used. Research and development is also being done to develop a viable alternative to the plastic used in the bartop corks for Warre’s ports.
These efforts by Symington Family Estates represent a significant change in culture towards more mindful and transparent winemaking. An important shift that hopefully will continue to spread throughout Oregon, Portugal and beyond.
Founded in 1670, Warre’s is the first and the oldest British port company established in Portugal. By the end of the 18th century, Warre’s had become one of the leading port companies, shipping 2,937 pipes in 1791, 10% of the total sold by 21 companies in that year.
Today, Warre’s remains famous for its Vintage Ports, a reputation which began with its very fine late nineteenth and early twentieth century Vintages. This legacy has endured into the 21st century with the outstanding 2007, 2011, 2016 and 2017 Vintage Ports.
In addition to Vintage Ports, Warre’s produces a wide variety of ports including the notable offerings below:
WARRE’S WHITE PORT NV
Warre’s Fine White is produced from traditional white grape varieties from the Douro Demarcated Region. The fermentation takes place off the skins in order to produce a more delicate style of wine. A brief aging process takes place at our lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia in a combination of oak casks and stainless steel tanks.
This port is medium dry with aromas of white flowers and almonds. A refreshing port that can be enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with a light dessert. Drink now.
Alcohol: 19% vol
WARRE’S HERITAGE RUBY PORT NV
Produced in the Douro Valley Portugal, Warre’s Heritage Ruby is a blend of young, vibrant wines from different vintages. The wines are stored for up to three years in oak vats before they are blended, filtered and bottled ready to drink.
This port is full-bodied with youthful aromas of red fruit. An excellent value. Pair with cheese or a rich dessert. Drink now.
Alcohol: 19% vol
WARRE’S OTIMA 20 YEAR OLD TAWNY
A beautiful translucent copper color, Warre’s Otima 20 Year-Old-Tawny is a wine of great finesse.
Complex aromas of caramel, almond, dried fruit and spice. Beautifully balanced on the palate.
Be careful with this one – it’s high in alcohol, goes down easy and taste amazing. Great value. Drink now or hold.
Alcohol: 20% vol
Samples provided by Alabama based importer, Vineyard Brands.