The decision to delay the picking of the Touriga Nacional vineyards at Quinta dos Malvedos and Quinta do Tua in the aftermath of last week’s rain has been amply vindicated. Early on Monday morning the roga returned to hand-pick the best parcels of Touriga Nacional at Malvedos and by evening one lagar had been filled. Henry and his winery team recognised that they had some exceptional grapes in the lagar from the amazing colour and aromatics that the must was showing and the Baumé was a promising 14.4º.
Later in the evening, treading of this lagar began and on Tuesday morning Henry was pleased when he checked on the lagar’s progress. Both he and Alexandre agreed that it showed the best colour and the most attractive aromas that they’ve seen this vintage. It is worthwhile noting that last week’s day of rain did not in any way affect the grapes. In fact it is clear that the rain was actually a real bonus and helped the grapes realize their full potential, particularly in the case of the Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca varieties (which make up, respectively, 27% and 33% of the Malvedos vineyard). These varieties are the principal contributors to any potential Vintage Port and the team at Malvedos have real cause for optimism as the harvest continues.
A second lagar of Touriga Nacional was filled during Tuesday afternoon and treading began in the evening. Colour was again very good and the Baumé reading showed an excellent 13.8º.
Meanwhile Henry and Alexandre confirmed the picking order for the next few days and they are looking forward to the first Touriga Franca from Tua coming into the winery on Wednesday. These last few days of perfect weather have been ideal for the Franca to show its outstanding quality as it completes its maturation cycle and, as Alexandre does not tire of pointing out, this year’s Touriga Franca is perhaps the best he has seen in his long career as a viticulturist and vineyard manager.
This will almost certainly prove to be the crucial week of the entire harvest for the making of the very best Ports. The lovely period of fine weather that we have enjoyed since last Thursday is forecast to continue through to about the 3rd or 4th October, which is ample time to pick the very best grapes in our all our vineyards.