Malvedos Winemaker’s Update: Friday 21 September

The day was hot, with a bit of haze in the morning which cleared away by lunchtime
Picking at Sibio from old mixed vines

At 7:30 it was a cool morning with a light refreshing breeze. It’s raining in Porto today, but fortunately no sign of the weather changing here for the moment – today has certainly been hot, mostly clear and dry.  However, the weather forecast says we can expect a thunderstorm on Sunday, followed by dry weather and cooler temperatures next week.

Charles stopped by the winery early this morning and we visited both Tua and Malvedos vineyards in order to define the picking order to follow Sibio which we will finish by the end of the day.

It soon became obvious that the Touriga Nacional was now perfect to be picked and would follow next after Sibio.  We tasted grapes at each individual block of Nacional and decided to start with the Quinta do Tua Nacional tomorrow Saturday the 22nd September, and then move to Malvedos proper on Sunday the 23rd. where we will begin with the lower lying blocks by the river.

It looks like we can also expect low yields from the Nacional this year, however the small compact bunches of grapes had great flavour and a very low juice to skin ratio so I think we are looking to get great concentration and colour from the Touriga Nacional this year.

Rupert at the Malvedos map with visitors whilst Charles and Henry consult the map of Tua to plan picking order

The visitors season is in full swing, whilst Charles and I were consulting one map and planning picking order, Rupert was at the other map explaining the quinta, grape varieties and harvest process to a group of Portuguese businessmen who enjoy our wines.

Altogether, a normal day in the winery – and no breakdowns thank god today!

Readers who have followed us for the past three harvests on the Blog may have missed António, the policeman from Peniche, a coastal town near Lisbon.  He grew up in nearby Resende and for years spent his three weeks’ holiday working for us.  This year, unfortunately, circumstances meant he had to go to Brazil, but he sent this message to Henry yesterday:

Em primeiro lugar quero dizer que tenho saudades de nao andar ai.  Este ano foi impossivel mesmo estar ai.  Espero que nos proximos anos, caso nao perca a vaga e espero que nao, estar ai.  Pois alem do trabalho e muito gratificante passar ai esses maravilhosos dias, com todos voçes.  De um forte abraço ai ao pessoal e um bom fim de semana, como um bom trabalho.  Um abraço especial para voçe.

In the first place, I want to say that I am very sad not going there.  This year it was impossible to be there.  I hope in future years, if I have not lost my place there, and I hope not, I will be there.  Besides the the work it is very rewarding to be there for those marvelous days, with all of you.  Give my best regards to the team, and have a good weekend and good work.  Special regards for you.