Henry Shotton and the winery team at Quinta dos Malvedos received the first grapes of the 2012 Harvest today at 10:00 – Tinta Barroca from parcels high on the eastern end of the quinta. Henry Shotton’s winery report, to be published tomorrow and each morning of the harvest, will give further details of the grapes and winemaking.
Well before the first Barroca arrived, Charles stopped by the winery and he and Henry Shotton went on a tasting tour, looking ahead to decide which varieties and parcels will be picked next. Charles’s plan right now is to finish the Barroca – which should be just two days’ work – and then harvest the grapes from what used to be Quinta do Sibio, an adjacent quinta which we purchased this summer and have added into Malvedos. The parcels there are all old mixed variety plantings, and Charles estimates will take 4 to 5 days to pick.
After that, we may move on to the Malvedos Touriga Nacional. As he and Henry Shotton tasted various parcels around the quinta, Charles noted distinct difference in ripeness and depth of flavour, and the picking order will be planned to leverage that. He also commented on the fresh acidity of the grapes which is surprisingly good under these conditions and the fact that the colour is also developing well.
As he surveyed the vineyards around him, he also commented that south and southwest facing parcels, particularly of Touriga Nacional are starting to show signs of hydric stress, with the lowest line of leaves now turned brown and crisp in many areas, something which has happened just in the past week or so. If this continues, he may have to re-think his picking order.
Back at the winery in between receiving grapes, Henry was busy unpacking the boxes brought up from Gaia with everything he needs for the harvest – including the same pad that was used last year to record every delivery of grapes. There is still plenty plenty of paper left, and we have turned the page to begin the 2012 harvest.