Afternoon trip into the vineyards with the ‘roga’

 
Lost in the dust
Lost in the dust
Following the tractor
Following the tractor

It continues very hot and dry, just like a summer’s day even though we are at the end of September and it is quite tough on the picking team in this heat. It seems incredible that at this time in some years we are dodging rain showers and getting cold. Imagine what it used to be like in the days before tractors up here on these steep vineyards. The men would have to carry baskets weighing over 60 kgs each all the way down to the winery. So not everything in the old days was better than today! The trays that we pick into are also very gentle on the grapes, preserving the bunches intact until they are delivered to the sorting table.

 
Roga picking
Roga picking
Sr. Arlindo (background)
Sr. Arlindo (background)
Smilng despite the heat
Smilng despite the heat

I followed the tractor up from the winery in the jeep which, was not a great idea as the roads are so dry, half the time I was submerged in a cloud of thick dust and had to drop behind the tractor to let the dust settle.  This is a fully mature 1.75 hectare TF block with 4,877 vines which was planted in 1984 on ‘patamares’ (terraces). The TFs thick-skinned berries are very resistant to the heat and I must say that although the actual bunches are quite small, they are looking very good and healthy. These should make good Port.