This is the Symington family's first property outside the Douro region. Quinta da Fonte Souto is in the Portalegre subregion of the Alto Alentejo in southern Portugal.
Close to the São Mamede range (1,025 metres), the property benefits from the area’s altitude with its cooler microclimate in sharp contrast to the Alentejo region’s typically hot and dry conditions. Yields are low due to the schist and granite soils, which are less fertile than those found in the flat and rolling terrain which characterizes the majority of the Alentejo.
There are 207 hectares on the property, of which 43 are planted with vines. The principal grape varieties are Aragonês, Alfrocheiro, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The property has a substantial chestnut grove, from which its name is derived — ‘souto’ refers to a wooded area planted with chestnut trees. Furthermore, the property has a large forested area amounting to 100 hectares, a third of which is covered with cork oaks, very much a feature of the Alentejo landscape.
The first vintage under Symington family ownership was the 2017, and the grapes were vinified on site in the estate’s well-equipped winery. The debut vintage couldn’t have been more auspicious and we produced some very good white and red wines. The exceptionally hot and dry debut year showed the benefit of the vineyard’s altitude, which ranges from 490 to 550 metres. We will release 5 wines in 2019 (2 whites and 3 reds).