Last month, the 2022 winning finalists, and Scholar Thomas Gammella, along with trustees Edward Griffiths, Sergio Rebecchi and Silvano Giraldin, jetted off to Symington Family Estates in Portugal’s Douro Valley for a special study tour to learn about Graham’s Port.
The Symingtons are a British family who have been producing Port and Douro wines for more than 130 years, one of the last remaining port families who produce the famous Graham’s Port.
Anthony Symington himself welcomed the arrivals as well as taking them through tastings and the history of the estate.
On arrival, the team were treated to lunch at Vinum Restaurant & Wine Bar overlooking the estate’s 19th century cellars, where they were served the best of Portuguese cuisine with touches from the Basque region, and dishes designed to match the Ports and DOC wines produced by the Symington family.
The group were then transported to the Quinta dos Malvedos vineyard, which has been the cornerstone of Graham’s Vintage Ports ever since it was acquired in 1890 and was where they spent the night.
The next day kicked off with an incredible boat trip down the Douro river to Quinta do Bomfim, a tour of the winery and lodges followed by a tasting and lunch.
Quinta do Bomfim has been home to Dow’s Port since 1896 and farmed by the Symington family for five generations.
The onsite Bomfim 1896 restaurant run in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Pedro Lemos is inspired by traditional Douro family kitchens, the heritage of the region, and is centred around large chimneys and wood-fired ovens.
Team Gold’s final day in Porto culminated in a tour of Quinta dos Malvedos estate and winery – and a tasting of the family’s Altano Branco Reserva and Florão Tinto wines.
Our teams were able to not only get a taste for the various ports produced by the family but also learn more about how port is produced and the role it plays in today’s hospitality sector.
Sergio Rebecchi, Trustee, GSS, said: “We experienced the best hospitality and personal care, improved our product knowledge and attention to detail that makes Porto such a unique product.
What a revelatory study trip for our Scholar and Winning Finalists in the wonderful Douro Valley.”