Symington family members and staff from Graham’s and Symington Family Estates’ offices in Vila Nova de Gaia, the Lodge and all our Douro properties, came together this afternoon for the annual Christmas lunch and party.
Paul made a pithy speech, reviewing the accomplishments of our employees and the firm in the past year. 98 of our employees – almost 30% of the workforce – have been with the firm 25 years or more, which is an outstanding testament to the dedication of our employees and to the incredible depth of experience that SFE can bring to all its endeavours. Two employees marked their 43rd year with us.
In 2011 our Port brands again substantially outperformed the overall Port market, particularly in the sales of premium Ports. Despite the financial crisis, the Symingtons continue to invest heavily in a wide range of projects, including critical in-house computer systems, the successful re-launch of Cockburn’s Port and the Altano table wines, replanting 25 hectares of vineyards, a new winery adjacent to Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim, and of course the re-design of the Graham’s Lodge here in Gaia.
To celebrate, we enjoyed an excellent meal, a lavish dessert banquet, and a spin on the dance floor afterwards. I can tell you that while Johnny definitely has the moves, it was Paul’s flawless lip-synch to that disco classic “YMCA” that really impressed me!
The Symington Family and everyone at Graham’s and Symington Family Estates wish all of you a joyous and safe holiday season and a prosperous 2012.