Malvedos Winemaker's Update: Sunday, 23 September

Dramatic skyscapes as occasional showers passed through the Douro

The weather has well and truly changed today.  I woke at 4am with a huge thunderclap overhead in the early morning and there were light showers.  We had some more sporadic rain after lunch.  The autumn equinox was yesterday 22nd September and it usually brings with it some instability in the weather as was the case today.  The rain was accompanied by a strong east wind blowing up river which will have helped to dry out the grapes.  So at this stage there is no cause for concern, however let’s see what next week brings us in terms of weather.  Temperatures are now cooler which is also advantageous for the grapes at this stage of the Vintage as more hot weather could lead to raisining.

Today the pickers began on the Malvedos Touriga Nacional (there were only 22 pickers today due to the fact it’s Sunday and the unstable weather), starting with block 106 down by the river.  This old vineyard planted in 1984 has 2843 vines and gave just 538Kg – 189 grams per vine!  They then progressed to the ‘Port Arthur’ vineyard whose imposing stone walled terraces often produce some of the best Touriga Nacional at the Quinta, and this year gave an excellent 14.25 Bé.

Harry cleaning out the fortification tank

This was a good first day for the Malvedos Touriga Nacional and we are expecting more of the same tomorrow.

Today we had another finished Port to run off from the fortification tank into tonel, and it was Harry’s turn to spade out the cuba.

Yesterday Paul and his family dropped by the winery.  It was a good chance to show Paul some of our first lots of wine and it was also great to see his son Robert again who, like Harry this Vintage, worked at the Malvedos winery during the 2002 harvest.  He obviously has fond memories of the selection carpet!

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