After that, Gustavo Devesas, a Lodge veteran who joined the SFE sales team just before Christmas, returned to his roots: he spent the afternoon giving the new guides a grounding in Douro terroir, explaining to them the unique characteristics of the region generally, and then the three sub-regions and Graham’s own quintas more specifically. There were some lively questions, and they covered quite a lot of ground: 250,000 hectares to be exact, of which 32,233 is under vine, which is broken up into 139,000 different plots, farmed by 33,000 farmers (figures for the entire Douro region).
Given Gustavo’s encyclopedic knowledge and passion, and willingness to share it all, the next training session, in the Lodge Shop, started an hour late, but no one seemed to mind. Rosalina, who has responsibility for the shop, did a show and tell so the team understood the wide range of goods available for sale.
Meanwhile, it was business as usual in the Lodge, with tours and tastings going on, including one rather special little group from the nearby São Marco school. Don’t worry, Marisol did not offer them a tasting, though they seemed to really enjoy their tour of the Lodge.
Tuesday’s agenda: tastings in the morning, and then more tastings in the afternoon.