Malvedos Winemaker's Update: Saturday, 22 September

Quinta do Tua Touriga Nacional showing excellent colour even before treading
Touriga Nacional bunches are exceptionally small this year

It was another hot day at Malvedos, although in the afternoon the wind got up, stirring up some dust storms, and it does look as if the weather will change tomorrow.

Today we are began receiving Touriga Nacional from Quinta do Tua.  This is a mixture of mature plantings over 10 years old and some younger ones from 2008. When we received the first load in the lagar this morning, one could already see the intense dark colour of the juice just from the weight of the grapes, even before treading.  This is a very good sign.

As I expected the yields were low and the 27-strong vineyard team picked just 9,866 Kg today.  The grape bunches and berries are small but in very good shape. We are treading the first deeply coloured lagar tonight.

The Tua Nacional was finished today and tomorrow morning we begin with the Nacional from Malvedos.

Today we had a small problem with one of the lagares and Batista, the electrician, came round to fix some wiring that had been causing trouble with Lagar nº3, and was preventing the hydraulics from lifting it up for unloading – fortunately it is empty at the moment and it is now okay and ready to receive grapes tomorrow.

Harry Symington writes for the blog:

UK Ambassador Jill Gallard and her family with Harry, Henry and Tom
Dinner at Malvedos: Harry, Henry, Jill Gallard, and Rupert Symington with his daughter

This afternoon Johnny arrived with the British Ambassador Jill Gallard and her family. After a quick look around the winery, she was able to taste the first sample of the Barroca, whilst her two young boys charged around the lagares poking Juca with their plastic pirate swords.

In the evening Henry, Harry and Tom were asked for dinner up at the house with the ambassador.  After the sopa and bifinhos (soup and steaks) had been served, Johnny produced three incredibly special ports.  There was one Quinta vintage, a Graham´s vintage, and a very well aged tawny.  Plenty of guesses were thrown around the table until Johnny hinted that the two vintages were in honour of our guests and were quite old but still had the vitality of young wines.  This prompted the ambassador and her husband to suggest their birth years, 1968 and 1970 – the former is a 1968 Malvedos Quinta Vintage and the latter is a 1970 Graham´s Vintage.  The tawny was the Graham´s 1952 Jubilee Tawny Port, and a wonderful end to the evening.

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