Receiving the grapes

DSC_0037Some of you have asked about how we receive the grapes and what we do before they go into the lagars. Most of this happens in the reception area, so I thought I might give you a quick overview of what happens there.

The reception area is where the vineyard meets the winery.

DSC_0040This is how it works. The tractor brings down the grapes from the part of the Quinta that is being picked. The grape bunches are picked into small plastic boxes that take between 20-22 Kgs each. They stack one on top of the other on the tractor in such a way that the box above does not crush the grapes in the box below. The tractor can bring up to 92 boxes maximum with between 1800-2200 Kg depending on the variety being picked.

DSC_0039The boxes are carefully unloaded and weighed. At the end of the Vintage we can then work out how many Kilos (pipes of grapes) the property has produced, the yields per vine per variety and also the yields of each different block.

The boxes are then unloaded slowly onto the triage / selection carpet where leaves and any bunches that don’t make the grade are removed so that they do not compromise the quality of the lagar being filled. A pre-selection process takes place in the vineyard itself where Arlindo has given orders to the pickers that any unsuitable bunches are cut and left to lie where they fall so that they never even make it to the winery at all.

Juca at the crusher - destemmerThe selection carpet is tilted at a downward angle, so that any juice (which might already be fermenting) simply runs off backwards and never makes it to the crusher where again it could compromise quality.

Grapes into LagarHaving passed through the selection process the grape bunches then fall off the end of the moving carpet into the crusher de-stemmer below from where they are pumped to the lagar being filled in the winery itself.

The boxes once empty are carefully passed through our box washer where a system of shower heads washes them clean of any juice before being stacked and sent back to the vineyard for more grapes.

One thought on “Receiving the grapes”

  1. Hello my friends!
    I am back in Oporto now. Seeing these pictures reminds of the hard but satisfying job I had working the vintage with you last week.
    Abraço para todos na adega!

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