Malvedos Thursday 30 September

When I left my room this morning at 07:00 there were dark grey threatening clouds overhead and it looked like it was going to rain.  Fortunately for us though, a high wind blew clouds east upriver towards Spain and no rain materialised.  By 12:00 we were back to blue skies and a warm sunny day.

Marco Aurelio, Steve and Henry discussing the wine which Steve will use for his experiments
Marco Aurelia carefully decants wine into his carriers; note also the late afternoon sun streaming into the winery!

This morning the first lagar of Touriga Nacional was fortified at 08:15 – it was kind to us and didn’t require fortifying in the middle of the night!

This afternoon Dr Steve Rogerson, our R&D scientist, and his assistant Marco Aurelio came to take some samples from our third Touriga Nacional lagar.  Whereas Miles Edlmann does research on vineyard management matters, Steve’s work focusses on the quality of the harvested grapes and possible variations in the winemaking process.

Steve has taken away 60 litres of must to carry out some micro vinification trials.  The principal objective for his experiments is to investigate the effect of different yeast inoculations and the resulting aromatic profile of the Touriga Nacional wines.   Can’t say any more – top secret!

We have also since the beginning of the harvest been setting aside bunch samples of each variety from several sites in the Quinta on their harvesting date which will be used by Steve and his team to determine the final levels of potential extractable colour pigments (anthocyanins).

From a TN block high in the quinta, looking south east across the Rio Tua towards our own Quinta do Tua

We spent all day again on the 2005 Touriga Nacional and filled our third lagar which is now treading for four hours. The 19 pickers did a good job and sent 429 boxes with 9.260 Kilos of healthy Nacional grapes to the winery.

Juca’s Obelix sized steak

Juca is a big chap and the tallest and heaviest in the winery team clocking in at 102Kg. Last night he was off duty and went to have steak and chips and watch the Benfica game at the Calça Curta in Tua with some friends.

Even he seems surprised at the Obelix sized proportions of his helping!

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