Matriarca – our club of Portuguese wine enthusiasts – was born out of a desire to create a community around a shared passion, while drawing inspiration from the exceptional women in our family and their flair for creating convivial moments around good food and wine.

At the heart of every family lies a matriarca – ours was Beatriz Leitão Carvalhosa Atkinson. Known for her generosity, warm welcoming and joyful gatherings, Beatriz was a pioneering member of the Symington family’s first generation of wine producers in Portugal.

Beatriz’s roots were firmly grounded in Porto. Born in the city in 1870, she was the granddaughter of a port producer, and descended from the pioneering port merchants of the 17th century.

Through the lineage of her mother, Maria José Leitão de Carvalhosa, Beatriz could trace her connection to port back to 1652 when Walter Maynard, the British Consul, became one of the first to export this fortified wine from the Douro to the UK. 


With both Portuguese and British heritage, Beatriz embodied the shared history between these two countries, which played a pivotal role in the development of port and the Douro over many centuries. This relationship would be passed down through her descendants.

Beatriz married Andrew James ‘AJ’ Symington – the first Symington to move to Porto in 1882. Together, they had five children – Edgar, Maurice, Mabel, John, and Ronald – who affectionately called Beatriz 'Minha', short for 'my dear mother'.

Today, the fifth generation of the Symington family is celebrating Beatriz by creating this unique wine club and community in her honour. 

Here’s to all the matriarchs in our families!