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Paul Symington Awarded a CMG in the Queen’s Honours List

Published:  06 June, 2022

Paul Symington has been awarded a CMG (Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, published 2 June, for services to UK/Portugal relations and social, environmental sustainability in the Douro.

This award follows the Order of Merit (GO) for services to Port and the Douro by the President of Portugal in 2015 and Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Vila Real (UTAD) in 2019.

Reflecting on the achievement, Symington said: “I am proud to receive this award that recognises my family’s long dedication to the Douro.”

Symington, born in 1953, is a Portuguese and British national. His family has lived in northern Portugal since the 19th century. He joined the family wine and Port company Symington Family Estates (SFE) in 1979.

Throughout Symington’s career, and especially after he became joint MD in 1988, he and his cousins developed a strategy of solid vineyard investment, eventually becoming the leading vineyard owner in the Douro Valley with 26 different estates totalling 2,233 hectares, with 1,076 hectares of prime vineyard. The company is today the world’s leading premium Port producer and is a pioneer in the production of Douro wines.

Under his chairmanship, SFE-backed John E Fells became one of the UK’s leading fine wine importers, representing a portfolio of family-owned wineries from the world’s most significant wine regions.

Symington has been outspoken on issues that affect the Douro region's socio-economic sustainability – in particular, advocating the reform of the regulatory system that controls grape prices. He and his cousins undertook an ambitious environmental strategy over many years, which saw SFE become the largest farmers of organic vineyards in the north of Portugal and sustain a 20-year long programme of social impact initiatives in the Douro region.