Malvedos 23:30 Friday 24 Sep

Today, day 5 of the Vintage has been all go and we have been really busy at the winery.

It all began last night when by our calculations (or guestimate in this case) the last Barroca lagar was going to need fortifying at around 3am. Fonseca and Carlos volunteered to come and take care of it, but in the end it was a false alarm as the lagar seemed to be in no hurry (this often frustratingly happens at night!) to be fortified and we only added the brandy at 08:30 this morning.

Two sets of visitors have been through this morning, one from Norway with Jackie and the other with Paul from the UK, as well the our visit from the Health and Safety girls!

We’ve been receiving Roriz all day and in total 13.880Kg were picked by the 20 pickers. Pedro Leal da Costa and Alexandre Mariz two of our viticultural heavy weights came to inspect the Roriz still to be picked in block 17 tomorrow and then popped into the winery to make sure I’m not mistreating their precious Roriz grapes in the lagars. Fortunately they seemed quite pleased with what they saw!

I spoke to Arlindo over dinner and he thinks all the Roriz will be picked at Malvedos by mid-morning tomorrow and then he and the ‘roga’ will move to Quinta do Tua and get stuck into the ‘Vinha Velha’ (Old Vines) over there. The Vinha Velha given its age is likely to have pretty low yields so we can expect to receive fewer grapes tomorrow.

The weather has remained good, warm rather than hot, and the grapes have been coming in at an excellent 20-22ºc.

Fonseca and I have tasted the Barroca run off last night and although still  ‘raw’ from the grape brandy addition, once you get past that it’s packed with fresh red and black berry fruits and there is definitely a purple tinge to the colour.

Finally at 23:30 we are finished for the day and can relax with a beer and a sandwich

Juca, Fonseca and Pedro finally get a break