We received 97 deliveries of grapes, vinified them into 19 lagares of wine, bagged and then lifted onto the truck and unbagged 18,000 kilos of the remaining pips and skins from the wine press afterwards, and after all that hard work all of us still managed to put on a bit of weight – a great tribute to Dona Sonia, Dona Fatima and all the ladies in the kitchen who kept us very well fed throughout the harvest. On the other hand, we have been so busy that in three weeks time a team of 8 men only found time to drink 24 beers, which we think is a record low.
Yesterday we fortified the last lagar and worked on cleaning the winery and all the equipment which will now hibernate for 11 months, breaking only for celebratory drinks on the terrace up at the house, a tradition with the Symington family.
In the evening we went up to Arlindo’s house for the harvest dinner. Dona Fatima and her mother prepared excellent roast lamb and vitela (young beef), potatoes, rice and salad, our viticulturist Alexandre Mariz contributed red wine from his own quinta, and Branca and Prazeres, the housekeeper and cook from the house at Malvedos, made four different wonderful cakes, which we enjoyed very much with the Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage 2007 which Paul sent over. Henry and Harry both made speeches and toasts, and a good harvest came to a very good conclusion.
This ends our intensive Harvest blogging from Henry Shotton, the Quinta dos Malvedos winemaker, Harry Symington who contributed many of the photos and his wonderful video, and Cynthia Jenson who has been blogging for Graham’s since July 2010. Going forward, Cynthia will contribute occasional viticultural content to this blog, but otherwise focus on The Vintage Port Site while Miguel Potes, Communications manager for Symington Family Estates, will take over Graham’s Blog and continue to bring you year round news of Graham’s Ports and our activities in the the Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia and around the world.
The Graham’s winery team, left to right: Paulo, Fernando, Alexandre (our tractorista), João, Harry, Henry, Fonseca, Tiago and Juca.