In addition to his responsibilities marketing Graham’s vintage ports around the world, Johnny Symington is the British Honorary Consul in Oporto. The two roles converged recently, as he accompanied His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent on his visit to Oporto, which included a private dinner in the directors’ dining room at Graham’s Port Lodge hosted by the Symington family and attended by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Portugal, Mr Alex Ellis.
The Duke of Kent was invited by the Portuguese Ministry of Defense to a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Buçaco on 27 September 1810, when the combined Portuguese and British forces under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon’s Marshal Masséna. This was a turning point in the Peninsular War, and Masséna ultimately retreated back to Spain.
His Royal Highness was shown round the Graham’s lodge and vintage port cellars by Paul and was then invited to baptise the Royal Reserve port vat. The baptism was followed by a dinner. It was a relaxing and most enjoyable evening following a busy schedule of official engagements.