You have read how Graham’s went to visit Norway recently… well, Norway returned the favour. The sales team from the Solera Group, our distributors in Norway, together with three of their clients, visited Malvedos to see the Douro and the home of Graham’s ports for themselves.
We receive trade visitors year round at Quinta dos Malvedos, so that our distribution partners and some of their key clients can better understand what makes our wines what they are. While all of our visitors of course know how wine is made, and many have visited wine regions around the world, the first visit to the Douro is always a bit of a revelation, and even repeat visitors are impressed and learn more every time.
These visits always include a tour of the vineyards and of the winery. The Solera team were particularly game about hiking up to the top of the 400 metres rise of the vineyards. Along the way Dominic Symington explained Graham’s approach to viticulture, which encompasses not only growing the best possible grapes in this challenging environment, but choosing our methods in order to protect the unique Douro ecosystem at the same time.
Similarly, in the winery, the team were fascinated by both the traditional lagares and our robotic lagares, and were asking many questions to better understand the winemaking methods which are exclusive to port wine. Whilst discussing the aguardente which is added during fortification, Dominic passed around a glassful for the group to sniff. One whiff was enough for most, but a few brave souls tasted it. Needless to say, after visiting the winery and tasting the aguardente, they were very happy to return to the quinta for a sampling and discussion of our full range of tawny and ruby ports, and a traditional Portuguese lunch of bacalhau.
Experiencing the intense heat of the Douro prompted a few of the Solera team to end the day rather unconventionally, with a plunge into the Douro from the rocks halfway between Malvedos and the Valeira dam.