Winemaking

Late rain may spoil a great harvest in the Douro

With the harvest being halfway over, let’s do a quick and dirty assessment of what’s occurred. Surprisingly, we’ve had a deluge of rain hitting us off and on for approximately two weeks. The good news is that depending on where you are in the Douro, the rainfall and accumulation varied dramatically, meaning that Quevedo greatly […]


Harvest 2014: first maturity control

Every year, on the 10th of August, we embark on our very first maturity (ripeness) control in our main vineyard, Quinta Vale d’Agodinho. Located on the very top of a hill with 360 degrees of sun exposure, it’s fascinating for us to see how the grapes evolve in varying light exposure. Under ideal circumstances, the […]


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, […]


2013 Harvest in the Douro – all about to finish

Time doesn’t stop and we are slowly approaching the end of the harvest. Contrary to the norm, this year it rained during the picking and this fact played a very important role in the overall quality of 2013 wines. If we would divide the harvest in two parts we would have the weeks before and […]


“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”

That’s what Vladimir Nabokov said about the rain, and it should be also the way we feel. But it is not easy just to be indifferent. After so many weeks praying for a good week-end of rain some weeks before the harvest started, it comes right now, when all Douro producers were harvesting the best […]


2013 Harvest in the Douro – time to crush the grapes

Harvest is now underway. We were waiting for quite some time until having the feeling that grapes were in perfect conditions to be harvested. And finally we started harvesting the red grapes from our most important vineyard, Quinta Vale d’Agodinho. As I am writing, on Tuesday noon, the weather, which has been clear and quite […]


2013 harvest: when to kick off?

The harvest of 2013 is revealing quite interesting. After several weeks with very little rain, the long showers we had last week-end changed a bit the expectations for this harvest. If until late August we could expect an average vintage (or even below), this rain, which helped vines and grapes to rehydrate, is rising the […]


Yeast in Wine – Port fermentation

One of the key elements, if not the most important after the grape in the winemaking process, is the yeast. Why is yeast so important? Because despite its small size (around 0.003 mm), this microorganism has the very important task of transforming fructose into ethanol, the form of alcohol present in wine. Yeast is present […]


Wine Spirit for Port

There is still some confusion on people’s heads about Port winemaking. The basic details are not difficult, but when we talk about the spirit we use to fortify the must, sometimes explanations complicate what is easy simple. So very often I receive emails from people asking what wine spirit we use and how strong it […]


Mechanical grape sorting system for premium wines

Now that the harvest is over, it is time to share with you one of the most amazing machines that the winemakers have now available (at a pretty high cost) to sort grapes. This new grape sorting system is working in Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, one of the most prestigious and serious wineries in Alentejo, making the […]