Malvedos Winemaker’s Update: Wednesday, 3 October

First grapes of the day were processed at 8:00 AM

This morning there was low hanging grey cloud over the valley, however that cleared away and by the afternoon it was sunny and quite hot, rather like the first week of the Vintage.

The pickers covered quite a lot of ground today as they started at the top of the Quinta, by 11 o’clock were picking blocks 29 and 31 down by the river, and ended the day in parcels near the Quinta entrance.  In total 11,200 Kilos were picked, which was perfect to fill our lagar.

Today was very busy at the winery, beginning with a fortification at 5:00 am (poor Fonseca!), first grape deliveries at 8:00 am and continuing steadily all day, another lagar to run off, the usual paperwork to document all the grapes and wines and samples, and only ending at 11 o’clock at night, after a visit from our R&D enologist Dr Steve Rogerson, who came round to pick up some of our Touriga Nacional samples for his research.

Henry Shotton explaining our use of cap plunger tanks during the fermentation of Port

After last night’s fantastic dinner we had the pleasure of showing the Berry Brothers & Rudd visitors around the winery, where they were particularly interested in the different fermentation techniques we use.  The Malvedos winery has three options:  traditional stone lagares, the modern lagares in which we have made most of our Ports since 2000, and cap plunger tanks which we often use in the final hours of a fermentation before fortifying the wine.  Afterwards we drove up into the vineyards to see the Touriga Franca being harvested.