Thankfully the weather cleared overnight and the clouds were gone this morning. The blue sky returned and it turned out into another perfect warm day, ideal for picking the Touriga Franca.
Arlindo’s team of 24 were picking the lower lying Franca by the river this morning just below and to the West of the Quinta house. As these blocks are quite close to the winery we received the first load at 08:50 just before breakfast which opened everybody’s appetite!
From here they moved higher up the Quinta near the entrance gate to blocks 64, 59 and 58. These were some of Charles’s preferred blocks on our tour of the Quinta the day before yesterday (see map). The grapes were in fact in perfect condition when they started arriving at the winery after lunch. The berries were at optimum maturity and released their intense purple colour as they fell into the lagar. These grapes are possibly some of the best I’ve seen arriving at the winery this year and I expect great things from this lagar. The baumé gave an excellent 13.95º and it looks like all is in place for it to be a Franca year par excellance.
It was a very busy day in the winery today, between receiving the grapes, transfers, corrections, a fortification and packing the marc (vinhaço) into the 35 Kilo bags from the press, and everybody was flat out all day.
I took a break from the paperwork and helped out where I could during the day, at one point taking over box stacking duty from António when he was down at the press during the fortification.
Gonçalo Brito dropped by this afternoon with Sr. Edson Reis a client from our Angolan distributor 5 Sentidos. We had a tasting of some of the recently made wines and he was particularly taken with one of the highly aromatic Nacional lagares.
At 10:30 after dinner at the house they came down and joined the lads who were having a grilled chouriço sandwich before going to bed at the end of the night shift. As good as the cooking up at the house is, I think Gonçalo and Sr Edson enjoyed the chouriço (a very spicy cured sausage) a lot!