Heat wave burns sun facing grape berries

In the aftermath of a three-day heat wave at the beginning of this week, the balance is not favorable to the grapes. The hottest period was between Monday 25th and Thursday 28th with temperatures rising up to 48ºC at noon, with overnight temperatures not dropping under 25ºC. In certain parts of the Douro valley, such […]

The first shoot of a young vine after the grafting

On February 2nd 2012 I have posted an article with a video about how to graft grapevines. After grating hundreds of vines and three and a half months on, the first shoots and now showing up. It is still a very tender shoot, but if it has enough humidity around the roots it will prosper. […]

Bud break arrives to the Douro vines

It does not matter whether we are talking about prunes, almonds or apples, bud break always means the beginning of a new cycle for the crop and is now starting in our vineyards. Not surprisingly, the first vines to break are the young vines located in Quinta das Ms, Douro Superior, where we have been […]

Finally some rain in the Douro to lift the spirits

After over two months without seeing rain, we had finally a week-end of rain in the Douro. It was not enough to offset the long period of drought we have been facing, but it is a nice beginning for what it can be the next weeks. As the saying puts it “April showers”, it is […]

Drought in the Douro valley – how the soil should be and how it is

  Quinta Senhora do Rosrio – December 2008                         Quinta Senhora do Rosrio – February 2012                       What is wrong with these two photos? Once again it is all about the weather. For almost […]

How to graft grapevines

Phylloxera set a new paradigm in the viticulture of the Douro valley and in almost every vine growing country. Since 1850 that this tiny insect, phylloxera, that feeds up from the leaves and roots of ungrafted vines, changed the way grape producers are growing vines. Until then vines were planted in the soil, growing their […]

2011 harvest update after raining in the Douro valley

There are some developments in the last stage of the grape ripeness, few days before harvest starts. Last Sunday night it rained heavily in the Douro valley. This rain was very welcome as it did not damaged the berries and irrigated the dry soils of the vineyards. With this extra humidity in the soil, grapes […]

2011 harvest: first control of the grapes development cycle

After one month of absence due to my wedding, which was in July 15th, I am now back with fresh news from the vineyards. As usual, we make our first maturity control on August 10th and this year was not different. This first contact with the new grapes reveals a first rough idea of when […]

The Douro was under attack: midew came and left a big mark

Growing grapes is far from being a predictable process as we rely a lot on weather conditions. Sometimes too much. So much that adverse weather can destroy what we think is a good crop. And that is what happened with our Tinta Roriz. While we were at Vinexpo, a trade fair in Bordeaux, between the […]

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 […]