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Rob Symington: Wine, Portugal and Climate Change

  • 23 Mar 2020
  • 18:30 - 20:30
  • Portuguese Embassy


Wine, Portugal and Climate Change

Pioneering wine-making that meets the challenges of our time

by Rob Symington

Associate Director, Symington Family Estates

Monday, 23 March 2020, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

By Kind Permission of His Excellency Manuel Lobo Antunes,
The Portuguese Ambassador, a talk and reception will be held at:

The Residence of The Portuguese Ambassador
12 Belgrave Square, London, 

In this talk Rob will provide an overview of how his family port and wine company is pioneering sustainable innovation and using their resources to respond proactively to the climate emergency and the overlapping ecological crises facing humanity today.



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 (producers of Chryseia and Post Scriptum). In 2019 they launched their first wines from Quinta da Fonte Souto, a new estate in the Portalegre sub-region of the Alto Alentejo. The Symington family are the leading vineyard owners in the Douro valley, with 26 Quintas covering 2,462 hectares and 1,114 ha of vineyard. All their 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.



Rob is a member of the 5th generation of Symingtons to work at Symington Family Estates (SFE). As well as being Head of Sustainability, he works with his colleagues, siblings and cousins on projects spanning Communications, People & Culture, and Commercial Strategy. 

In 2019 Rob led the team that achieved B Corporation status for Symington, becoming the first wine company in Portugal to take this step and commit to the highest standards of ethical business practices, and social and environmental performance. The family are deeply concerned about the threat of climate change and – as members of International Wineries for Climate Action – the business is working on a comprehensive plan (Mission 2025) to reduce its carbon emissions, as well as conducting pioneering R&D to adapt to the impacts of climate change in the vineyard. In January 2020 they launched The Symington Impact Fund to provide financial support for organisations addressing social and environmental issues in the regions where they work.

Before joining his family business, Rob worked in London for 10 years – starting his career in business consulting with Ernst & Young before co-founding and building Escape the City - a business that helps professionals make meaningful career changes in pursuit of work that matters to them and to the world.

Ann Waterfall Student Award 2020

The talk will be followed by the presentation to

Hannah Shakespeare of Cambridge University


As you know previous events have been oversubscribed and preference will be given to APS members during the ticket allocation process. Ticket prices include drinks following the talk.

£15 Student (under 25)

£25 APS members

£45 APS joint members

£35 Guests

For further information please email us at info@apsociety.co.uk

The Anglo-Portuguese Society is  a registered Charity

in England and Wales (No. 313589)

© The Anglo-Portuguese Society,  2021. All rights reserved.


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