Every day of harvest Henry Shotton, the winemaker at Quinta dos Malvedos, will give us his wrap up of the activity in and around the winery.
First day’s picking
Being the first day of the Vintage the team all arrived at the winery at 07:00 so as to prepare to receive the first load of Barroca which we expected around 08:45. The weather was fine and it looked like it would be a very hot day – it was!
The first thing I did on entering the winery was turn on the refrigeration to Lagar 3 – the first to be filled. From experience on hot days, the first load of grapes come in cool at 20-23ºc, however as the day progresses temperatures rise and the grapes in the afternoon can end up pushing 30ºc which is not so good!
The lagares at Malvedos have a very good temperature control system with water jackets (for hot or cold water to pass) round three of the sides and the floor that enable me to quickly cool or heat the must inside. As a result we will begin the fermentation of this first later tonight at an ideal 20ºc. With this sort of hot weather cooling is essential to a good fermentation.
Arlindo had a team of 26 pickers today who started with Tinta Barroca from the East facing block 92, a mature vineyard planted in 1989 at the top of the Quinta and during the day they brought in 12,924 Kg between them. The grapes are in excellent condition, the rain at the end of August / beginning of September, followed by the hot sunny weather to date has really fine tuned the maturation. The Barroca’s thin skinned berries are full, with a slightly wrinkly skin denoting excellent maturity and sugar levels.
I was also particularly pleased to note the colour as the must reached the lagar from the crusher – even before treading the colour was a dark ruby. Experience has taught me this is a very good sign!
As I write the first lagar of Malvedos Barroca is undergoing its four-hour tread. Tomorrow we will continue the harvest and winemaking with another full day of Barroca.
The Winery team weighs in at exactly 600Kg (Only António is missing who arrive on Saturday) – Less than a pipe of grapes which is 750 Kg! We have 2 new members, Tiago, Fonseca’s nephew, and Lisa who has joined us from the UK for some winemaking experience.
Health and Safety Audit
Health and safety at our wineries is something we take very seriously, and big part of our preparation for vintage is ensuring all our installations are working well, safely, and according to safety guidelines OHSAS 18001.
The first day was made even more hectic by a health and a safety audit in the morning which I am pleased to advise we passed! The Auditor, Luisa Vanzeller from Lloyds Register, happily stopped to join us for a photo together with the winery team and Graham’s own Health and Safety team.
Front row, left to right: Monica (SFE H&S), Arlindo (Malvedos Caseiro), Tiago, Fonseca Back row left to right: Alexandre, Pedro, Carlos, Luisa Vanzeller (Lloyd’s H&S Auditor), Henry Shotton, Marta (SFE H&S), Juca and Lisa