Today was the last day of the Vintage and it ended exactly as it started, warm and with a bright blue sky. Since we started on the 15th September there was only one day that was not like this, with some sporadic rain and drizzle.
It is extremely rare that we are blessed with such perfect weather throughout the whole of a Vintage and this of course has certainty contributed to the overall quality of the year.
All I can say is that I am really pleased (and relieved) that all the Malvedos grapes were picked under perfect conditions and are now all in the winery and beyond the reach of any rain or bad weather that is yet to come, though Charles did say the forecast remains clear for another 10 days or more, for those still harvesting.
20 days and 117 tractor loads later all the grapes were picked and the 2011 Malvedos Vintage ended at 18:00 this afternoon!
The last lagar to be filled was a mix of Touriga Franca and Tinto Cão and is being trodden as I write at 23:10.
It was a crazy day at the winery with everything seeming to be going on at the same time – unloading boxes, corrections, transfers between lodges, fortifications and a series of visitors to be looked after. We are all working late tonight and still expect one more fortification in the early hours.
Tomorrow we will begin cleaning up and by the time we leave here the winery and all the equipment will be spotless and shining like brand new.
Visitors and a Celebration
Today we received a series of visitors throughout the day. In the morning Henri Sizaret and Eliane the new Graham’s Brand Manager arrived, also a German Port wine specialist, Axel Probst together with Dominic. We all enjoyed a tasting of every wine finished so far at the winery, followed by a pleasant lunch together up at the house.
In the afternoon a group came round from our SAP implementation project – a major new customised information system for tracking all our wines – who are currently working on the ‘Vintage’ module. Let’s see how they program this!
Before dinner we were all invited by Paul and Charles for an end of Vintage drink up at the house. We all relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful snacks prepared by Branca and Prazeres.