Yesterday Paul Symington visited the winery with a group of UK journalists, just as Juca was going to check out the third tonel (officially known as tonel 20521).
Paul lit up, and told us all how his earliest memory is of following his father around the winery whilst he did exactly this task. His father, Michael Symington, used to personally inspect every tonel himself, and write in chalk on the face of the cask if it was sweet and in condition to receive wine. Paul watched as Juca opened the tonel, then was first to lean in, thump the cask, and take a deep breath. Paul was really pleased with the condition of the cask and pronounced it ready to receive the third lagar of Barroca.
Today, Fonseca re-closed the cask and sealed the opening. Since then, the wine was transferred and Tonel 20521 is now full of 9,750 litres of Tinta Barroca – the third lagar of Barroca – which will now rest there, and fall bright, over the winter.