Sustainability

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 [...]


Wine and Cork – why do they need each other so bad

Cork plays a critical role in the wine business. It has historically been the most used closure and nowadays it closes around 70% of all the wine bottles in the world. However, in the last decades both screw caps (made out of aluminum, with around 19% market share) and synthetic corks (made out of plastic, [...]


Vines punctuation system: white treated as red

Over the last centuries the Douro has built up its reputation as a top quality wine region due to the huge success of Port, more specifically Red Port. Since 1756, when Marquês de Pombal started delimiting and regulating the Douro, people are aware of what is allowed or not when growing grapes and doing Port. [...]


Acacia dealbata is invading the Douro

Have you noticed, during the last time you visited the Douro valley, a fast growing evergreen tree with yellow flowers that may remind you of big bunches of white grapes? This non-native tree, Acacia dealbata (Portuguese nickname is Mimosa), loves to grow on the berms of the roads, also on more humid areas, such as [...]


Extra virgin organic olive oil produced by Quevedo

Some years ago my sister came home and said do my father: “Hey dad, why don’t we convert the olive grove into organic production?”. My dad looked at her and replied with another question: why should we do that?”. And Claudia said something like this: “if we stop using chemicals to grow  the olives it [...]


Dry weather brings early fires to the Douro valley

We have spoken few times about how dry the weather has been this Winter. The lack of rain has been harmful not only for the vineyards but also for the rest of the crops, mostly olives and almonds trees, which are the most grown in the Douro. Additionally to these cultures, thickets surrounding the vineyards, [...]


Water, where are you?

Those who have been visiting the south of Europe for the last weeks know what the title of this post means. The weather in the Douro valley, in Portugal, and also in many areas of the Mediterranean has been wonderful. Clear sky with sunshine from sunrise until sunset and warm temperatures during day time. If [...]


Climate change: how it is going to affect viticulture in the Douro Valley

Editor’s note: One of these days, I was going with Luiz Alberto from Porto to the Douro when we started talking about the eruption of the Icelandic vulcano Eyjafjallajkull in April last year and its effects on grapes ripening in the Douro. Other discussions followed. Suddenly, I challenged Luiz to write a paper about how [...]


Proud to be local

A few days ago I was in England for a Port and Douro wine tasting in The Square & Compasses, an old pub located in Fuller Street, in Fairstead, Essex. Fuller Street is a very small village, with under 50 people, where everybody knows each other and where life is relaxed and very enjoyable. The [...]


Will Forest Fires in the Douro Valley affect the quality of 2010 wines?

Since the beginning of the season over 68,000 hectares of forest have burnt in Portugal, around 10,000 of which were in the Douro. A part from the severe consequences of these disasters, the inevitable question now is, will the smoke of these fires affect the wines of the upcoming harvest, which should start in a [...]