27 September Malvedos Winery Update

The view downriver from the balcony of Quinta do Tua 7:15 AM 27 September

I opened the winery at 07:05 this morning and it’s a wonderful part of the day, very quiet.  It’s still only half light and you can see on the neighbouring hillsides the odd tractor and lorry with their headlights on picking their way through the vineyard tracks to work.

The harvest team currently begin at 07:00 and finish at 16:30, however from next week, with the diminishing early morning light, they will move to a 07:30 to 17:00 schedule.  By 07:30 today it was fully light and the blue sky promised another warm clear day.

I just heard on the radio that September on average has been the hottest month of the year – hotter than July and August!  It comes as no surprise given the consistently warm, clear  weather we have been experiencing since the Vintage began.

Vineyard update

Charles and Henry on a tasting tour of every block of Touriga Francesa at Malvedos
Touriga Francesa, 27 September 2011 Malvedos

Arlindo and his team of 24 finished the Malvedos Touriga Nacional just before lunch and moved over to the Quinta do Tua Nacional which they finished late in the afternoon. Tomorrow they begin on the Tua Touriga Franca which is likely to take all day before they move back to the Malvedos Franca on Thursday the day after tomorrow.

Charles was here today and we took an hour and a half going round all the Touriga Franca blocks in the Quinta in order to define the perfect picking order. This attention to detail is what making great wines is all about.  The Franca is really full of flavour this year with soft thin skins and now at perfect maturity to be picked.

As we began tasting grapes in the Touriga Franca blocks 58-59-64 near the entrance to Quinta dos Malvedos (see map) Charles commented “This is the best Franca I have tasted this year”.  He was really pleased!  (Note from Cynthia:  later, tasting his way through another parcel, I heard him saying, “This just gets better by the minute…” !)

Winery Update

Deeply coloured Touriga Nacional port wine

We filled the 5th lagar of Nacional during the course of the day and this will be the last one of the Vintage. From here on it will be just Touriga Franca.

Charles also tasted the most recently made wines including the first Nacional lagar (mentioned in yesterday’s post), which he liked a lot due to exuberance of fruit, freshness and off the scale purple colour that even stained the empty glass.

The other excitement at the winery today was a visit from Mr. Fix-It.  The selection carpet had a mechanical problem this morning which meant that we could not unload grapes into the crusher – big problem!  We had to call David ‘pronto’ to fix it and luckily he was in the vicinity.   With his fast BMW GS 1200 bike he was with us in no time to sort out the problem. Fixing things quickly during the Vintage is of the essence as delays often grind everything to a halt and could be detrimental to quality.

David (Mr Fix-It) repairing a part of the selection table between deliveries. Paul really wanted us to post a photo of David's BMW GS 1200 motorbike, we think he wants one too (but maybe without the twin tool chests)
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2 thoughts on “27 September Malvedos Winery Update

  1. I really enjoy reading the blogs! they transport me into another world! and as I’m lisa’s mother I especially enjoyed the news of her time with you all………..she was not pleased to be back in London last night!….but is aiming to learn Portuguese before next year!

    1. How wonderful to hear from you! Glad we could help you keep an eye on your little girl (she will love that!) and good to know she is back safe, but tell her we miss her too, it is very quiet without her! Juca and Carlos are still drinking only water with meals since her leaving dinner! Thanks so much for letting us know!

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