Graham’s winemaker, Charles Symington, continues cheerful about harvest prospects at Graham’s quintas.
There was a little rainfall at our properties earlier this week, but not enough to make any difference. On the other hand, no harm is being done either by the lack of rain.
Temperatures have dropped – at just shy of 11:00 am on Friday 10 September, Charles (calling in from the Douro) was looking at a thermometer reading of 21° C (70° F) and clear blue skies. The outlook is for daytime temperatures between 20° and 30° C, which is ideal.
We continue to be very pleased, even pleasantly surprised, at how well the vines have endured the heat this summer – clearly the extraordinarily wet winter replenished water supplies deep in the ground to a good degree, and our mature vineyards have done just fine.
Had it rained, that might have speeded up the maturation a bit. As is, the maturation of the berries is progressing steadily but a bit slowly, but most importantly, it continues to be a very well balanced maturation.
Right now, we expect to begin harvesting some of the old mixed vineyards at Quinta do Tua on Thursday 16th, and plan to start picking at Quinta dos Malvedos around the 22nd. Vila Velha is tentatively scheduled to start on the 16th, and Lages and Vale de Malhadas both on the 20th. As always, this far in advance the start-of-picking decisions are tentative – we will continue to monitor the maturation and ultimately, decisions are confirmed the day before picking starts, not just for any given quinta, but for each separate vineyard within each quinta.
Overall, we’re in a good position right now, the weather outlook is favourable, and it promises to be a very good vintage.