The weather was cool at 07:30 when I opened the winery although as the morning wore on it was clear that we would have another warm and sunny day of ideal Vintage weather.
We managed to fit our winery team 2012 onto the scale this morning, totalling 748 kilos! Dona Sonia is a very good cook, God knows what they will weigh by the end of it…
The 27 pickers today ran through the rest of the Tinta Barroca in the Eastern part of the Quinta, picking a total of 11,524 Kg and filled the second lagar of Barroca. This is just over 400Kg per person and is again an indicator of the slightly lower yields we are experiencing this year, as last year pickers were averaging slightly over 500 Kg per day each when picking the Barroca. As Charles has mentioned before, the grape bunches are generally smaller than normal, hence the lower weight for the same amount of work. The grapes continue to arrive at the winery looking healthy, however, and the second lagar is looking promising.
The first lagar of Barroca finished treading early this morning at 01:00 hours and gave an excellent 14.05º Baumé. This is just what we need to be able to give the lagares a lot of work during fermentation and produce structured full bodied Ports. By lunchtime the fermentation had begun in earnest, the cap had risen and we were able to begin cap plunging in order to extract yet more colour and flavour.
Fortunately we had no more breakdowns and everything ran smoothly in the winery today. Dominic brought a group of visitors in the morning including Hermann Stockmann of Smart Wines in Germany and some of his colleagues. They arrived in style at the winery, Dominic having treated them to a tour of the vineyards in authentic Harvest style: in the lorry we use for transporting our picking team.