This morning the weather took a change for the worse. I woke up at 5am with the sound of the wind gusting strongly round the house and when I went up to the winery there were dark grey clouds overhead moving briskly north.
At 09:30 it began to rain lightly and until 17:00 there were sporadic showers on and off, but not enough to stop the picking.
These first drops of rain come after two weeks of uninterrupted good weather and I am not too concerned with these showers at the moment especially as in the afternoon a westerly wind blew upriver which has certainly helped to dry out the bunches on the vines. The weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday shows improvement so hopefully we will see a turn for the better during the night and fairer weather tomorrow.
Today they were picking the Nacional near the Mario Assunção part of the Quinta from block 87 and 88 planted in 2000. We only had 11 pickers and in order to be able to pick as much as possible today the tractor drivers were pitching in and helping to carry the boxes. By the end of play today we managed to finish all the rest of the Nacional at Malvedos and I am very pleased that we managed to do so under ideal conditions except for these few showers today.
The 5th lagar of Nacional is now full and we are giving it the 4 hour treading treatment tonight.
Tomorrow we move back to Tua to pick some of the young Nacional and Amarela before moving back to Malvedos and getting started on the Touriga Franca.