It was a cool morning and I had to wear a sweater for the first time this Vintage. The afternoon was sunny and warm rather than hot, very comfortable.
Today we received the first Malvedos Touriga Franca at the winery and the picking began with block 15, a mature vineyard planted in 1986. The grapes are healthy and full of flavour and as it is a large block, filled most of lagar today. It was then topped up with higher lying blocks 7 and 8 near the top of the Quinta. This is the second Franca lagar.
The winery routine by the third week of harvest feels very… routine, actually, as we monitor the fermentation of yesterday’s lagar and fill today’s. In a few more days the pace will quicken as we come to the end of harvest and the final lagares and corrections.
João Vasconcelos, one of Graham’s Market Managers, visited this morning with a group from our UK agent J.E. Fells. The visitors were bartenders and naturally specialised in cocktails. They told us about a few interesting Port based cocktails, and I managed to write down three of them, which we intend to try out soon. One calls for raspberries, which are a rare commodity here, but we may be able to find some brambles up on the hillside in some of the uncultivated areas.
At 5 o’clock Johnny arrived with a group from London wine merchant Berry Brothers & Rudd and Harry and I had dinner with them tonight. A stunning array of three mouth-watering Vintage Ports were served with the cheese that have made it very difficult to get back to work afterwards! – Graham’s 1966, 1994 and 2007.