Author Archive

The meaning of certain wild plants in vineyards

Inspired by an article on Western Farm Press about weeds in vineyards, we were looking at the wild plants we have in our vineyards. The idea is that by analyzing these wild plants we can understand what kind of necessities and needs the soils of our quintas have. It is getting more and more popular [...]


2014 Harvest outlook for the Douro

The year of 2014 may be a great year for the production of wine and Port in the Douro. Some of the critical factors that contribute for above the average harvest are aligned, but it is still quite early to be conclusive. Among the positive factors: Rainy season with precipitation spread during the months of [...]


Our vineyard is going organic

I have to confess that I have been hiding precious information from you. Not intentionally, but just today realized I have never talked about a special project that kept us busy for a couple of years. There it goes without more delay, we are converting a parcel of vineyards to organic farming! That parcel is [...]


Bees can save the wine world, after smell the cork

Few months ago we talked here about closures, advantages and disadvantages of using cork, screw-cap or a plastic plug to close a bottle of wine. The major disadvantage of the cork is the possibility of TCA contamination, which develops an off flavour in the wine, spoiling your experience. Recently, another research from Amorim came to [...]


Priorat and Douro – similarities and differences between these two wine regions

There are places on Earth where we can still travel in time. At least in the wine planet. Places where technology, chemistry and machines are totally relegate to a lower level of importance. Places where mass wine production processes are barely known. Places where every single grape berry counts, as there are very little. That [...]


Quinta da Alegria – planting vines in the Douro valley

We are now getting to the most critical phase in our works at Quinta da Alegria. After opening the terraces and removing the stones, it finally came the moment to plant the grafted vines in the soil. In the area we are working now, on the top of the property, we are planting Tinta Amarela [...]


Quinta da Alegria – removing stones to plant vines

Works continue in Quinta da Alegria as more land is ready to receive the new vines. In the last weeks we have been delineating terraces and revolving the soil to eliminate any compaction it may exist. Also important when working the soil is to clear it of big stones to make it easy for the [...]


Very wet Winter raises the bar for the 2014 harvest

Spring is finally coming after a very wet Winter in Portugal. This was probably the wettest Winter of the last 80 years, which gives us quite good expectations for the harvest to come. As you all know, the Douro is one of the driest wine regions of the world and a wet Winter is key [...]


Quinta da Alegria – how to open terraces in the Douro

At Quinta da Alegria we have moved to the second step of vine planting. After flattening the soil and eliminating the old terraces we are now using a bulldozer to build 2.30 meter width terraces. Due to the steepness of the land, we will only plant one line of vines per terrace. If we planted [...]


Quinta da Alegria – how to prepare the soil to plant vines

Quinta da Alegria is one of the properties (the other one is Mós) that belongs to my mother’s family. It was first planted by my great grandfather in the beginning of the last century. At that time, as it was forbidden to export Port Wine directly from the Douro, grapes were used to make Port [...]