We picked the first grapes of the 2009 harvest at Malvedos on the Monday 14th September and the last grapes were received at the winery on the 1st October after 18 days of picking by the ‘roga’. By the evening of the 4th October the last lagar had been fortified, the winery rigorously cleaned, and with the last paperwork done and dusted we were on our way home.
I think we made some really very good Ports at Quinta dos Malvedos during the 2009 Harvest. The weather was excellent throughout both the picking and for the final maturation of the grapes, with one fine hot day after another. Taking away the showers of 30th September (and a few more localized downpours at the winery!) there was no rain to speak of. The yields were very low in 2009 and this factor certainly contributed to the concentration of the musts and the final quality of the Ports made. The wines will now rest, some in the old wooden tonnels and some in the stainless steel tanks, over the winter at the Quinta before assessment in the tasting room in the early New Year by the family and their tasting team. We expect to load the wines down to our lodge in Gaia sometime at the end of February or early March next year. The cold winter weather will play its crucial (and totally natural) role of making the wine ‘fall bright’. Many visitors to the Douro have a very false impression of the Douro, they see beautiful sunlight and take lovely pictures. Try the Douro in late December and in January; freezing cold fog, dangerous and icy roads and many days when we never see the sun. That is why the valley is not crawling with tourists or with thousands of holiday homes. But it does help our wines!
On a personal note, I would like to say how much I enjoyed writing for the Malvedos blog this harvest as it not only added a ‘new dimension’ to the vintage work, but also allowed my family back in Oporto to follow what was happening on a daily basis.
A very big thank you to all the Malvedos team both in the vineyard and the winery.