Malvedos Friday 8th October

Picking Touriga Franca at Tua near the top of the hill above the Douro and Tua train station

This morning at 07:20 it was very grey and the clouds looked threatening. No rain fell fortunately during picking hours, but at 18:00 the heavens opened and it began raining heavily and is still doing so as I write at 21.30. I hope it clears during the night or there will be no picking tomorrow.

24 very welcome reinforcements arrived this morning!

Unloading 4000 kg from the reinforcement team's lorry

Today we received a contingent of very welcome picking reinforcements. Our vineyards in the Vilariça Valley (to the East of Malvedos and just 50Kms from the Spanish border) finished picking yesterday and the pickers have been reassigned to help out at other Quintas that are still harvesting. Today they came to lend us a hand at Quinta do Tua next door and tomorrow they move to another Quinta.

Traffic jam at winery - Alexandre has to pull over and wait whilst we unload the grapes from Tua

We therefore had two teams today going in parallel. The usual Malvedos contingent (19 today) on the Franca here under Arlindo and I sent the 24 reinforcements to Quinta do Tua to get started on the Franca over there.

It worked out very well with both teams doing an excellent job, and I was really pleased to have the extra help today especially as the weather has taken a turn for the worse this evening. Between them they picked 21.964kg of Franca, filling two full lagars of prime Touriga Franca grapes, all brought in before the rain started.

I can only hope the weather will improve tomorrow, and am very glad that the vast majority of the grapes from Malvedos and Tua are ‘in house’ at the winery either fortified or fermenting should it not do so.

Every Vintage in my experience has its ups and downs in terms of weather and one cannot expect blue skies every day for a month especially from mid September to mid-October. The fact that we have made it thus far with only one day’s heavy downpour is pretty good going and I believe a very positive indicator of the Vintage’s overall quality.

A very busy day today at the winery and all the lagares are full!