Another heavy night for Fonseca and Carlos only this time it wasn’t a false alarm. One lagar was run off at 0130 and the other at 0320, so they only got to bed at 0400 on Saturday morning.
We received the last of the Roriz and then the roga went to pick the Vinha Velha (old mixed plantings) at Quinta do Tua. This Vinha Velha was planted in 1974 and is now 36 years old. Charles and I felt that the concentration of the wines produced from this old and very low yielding vineyard would perfectly match the elegant and aromatic wines that the Roriz is producing this year.
This VV is predominantly a mix of three of the ’noble’ varieties, Barroca, Nacional and Francesa. The 22 pickers sent 9110 Kilos to the winery, which is significantly less than usual and this is due to the low yields from the VV, which are likely to be under one kilo per vine.
Charles was here again yesterday and after visiting various blocks at Malvedos and Tua we again reviewed the picking order. These last few days of warm weather have brought the Nacional to perfection, and so we decided that as soon as the VV is finished, we will move to the mature Nacional from Tua and then to the Nacional from Malvedos starting with the lower riverside blocks. I can’t wait to see what these grapes look like in the lagar!
In the winery things have been moving along smoothly and we have now fortified our seventh lagar and the eighth is having its four hour tread tonight. I have tasted these and am pleased with the deep colours and fresh fruit coming through at this stage.
Five very fine and generous gentlemen were here at the Quinta for lunch with Dominic from the Portforum – Julian, Alex, Ray, Derek from the UK and their friend Andy from the USA. They never travel without their own supply of Vintage Port and brought along a bottle of 1963 for lunch at Malvedos. The group very kindly donated a part of this to the winery team and we of course were delighted, it’s not every day we get such a treat. We salute you Portforum – cheers from the team!
For those of you who like trains enjoy this picture! Luckily it came past between tractor loads of grapes and we were all able to get a look at it.