While Henry relaxes with his feet up at Malvedos, I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce you to a few more of the people that are out here with us in the Douro, working the vintage and helping to make our wines.
The photo above is my father’s vineyard at Quinta do Alvito in the Pinhão valley which I now manage for him. The altitude of this vineyard is 480 metres, so ideal for picking now at the end of September. In fact some of the best grapes this year have come from up here. It is normally at least 2° C cooler up here than down by the river. This has a profound impact on the vines and their fruit. The roga in this picture is picking the Barroca. It is some of the best Barroca that I have seen anywhere in the Douro this year; full and plump and yet the berries taste concentrated and sweet and have good colour in the skins. The pips and stalks are now not green, so we will not have green tannins in the wine. It was worth the wait.
This picking team is not supplied by contractors, they are all people well known to us and live near here. The woman in the photo above is Maria Helena Canelas Alves and she lives in Sobrados. Maria helps in the vineyard throughout the year. In the distance you can see the truck that will take these grapes in the trays to our winery at Sol.
The picture above is of these same grapes once they have arrived at our winery at Sol and where they are on the sorting table. The last photo is of the full DOC wine making team at Sol (and my dog Toby). Again these guys have been working flat out for weeks now. These 25 people, led by Pedro Correia and Alexis, under Charles’s overall responsibility, make most of our red Douro DOC wines in a specialist winery separate from the Port winery.
These are the people, the faces and names, behind our wines. They make it all possible.