And finally… the rain came to the Douro

Raining in Quinta de VargellasAfter one week of hot temperatures, it finally rained in the Douro Valley. It stormed heavily on Saturday noon, for around 4 hours. I’m not sure if the rain caused any damage to the vines or to the bunches, but I would say no.

I think this rain can help to slow down the ripening process, which has developed really fast in the last weeks. The berries already have a high content of sugar, which suggests the wines from 2009 will be relatively alcoholics, as the phenolic ripeness is undergoing and needs some more weeks to get completed.

On Saturday August 15th, some Portuguese and Norwegian friends helped us to make a ripening control in our vineyards in the Douro Superior – Quinta das Olgas – revealing not very surprising results:

  • 20 year-old vines: 13,5% potential alcohol
  • 4 year-old vines : 11,2% potential alcohol

Last year on September 2nd we had similar values. So these results are quite consistent with what we got in Quinta Vale d’Agodinho on Monday 10th, showing the harvest may start two weeks earlier this year.