Vineyards

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 where used to make Port [...]


2013 harvest: first maturity control

With more than half August gone, grapes in the Douro valley are in the last stage of growth. While in the higher lands there are still some grapes changing color, as veraison is not finished yet, in the lower parts red grapes are now fully colored. We carried out the first maturity control on August [...]


Port to be produced in 2013 and other notes from the vineyard

August has arrived, vines are greener that ever and humidity stays at very low levels. Last Sunday, on July 28th, a couple of hours of rain helped to refresh the soil and the vines. It didn’t rain again since then. Actually, temperatures have been rising, which helped to ignite a couple of fires around the [...]


The aftermath of the heat wave

Temperatures in the Douro valley are now close to normal levels, at around 30º C, after the heat wave of the beginning of July. Short periods of very high and unusual temperatures are not rare in the Douro. What was strange was that not only the Douro but all around Portugal, people were taking off [...]


Grape vines planting in the Douro valley

The snow is gone. Actually, it didn’t resist that long, so we have no excuses to stop working in the vineyards. After preparing the soil, it is now time to plant those young and tender pre-grafted plants of Viosinho, Rabigato and Gouveio. That is what Marian, Marius and Cosmin, among others, are doing. We first [...]


Snow in the vineyards – white Douro valley

This was the view we had last Wednesday from the tasting room over the vineyards of Quinta Senhora do Rosário. All happened during a couple of hours of very intense snowing. I woke up early in the morning to see a vine planting machine working in Quinta do Ataíde, in Vila Flor. When we got [...]