Harvest 2011 – half of the grapes harvested

Tinta Roriz vineThe second week of harvest is gone and temperatures persist high. Too high for what we wished. Summer is almost over but it is still hot in the Douro. High temperatures make our life both in the vineyards and at the winery much more difficult. In the vineyards harvesters are not as productive as with cool climate. At the winery, we use more energy to control the speed of fermentation, in order to reduce the temperature of the tanks, so we can slow down the reproduction of the yeast and to make sure we keep nice bouquets.

We finished the harvest this week-end in our third Quinta which is by the riverside. After Mós and Alegria, Quinta Vale d’Agodinho was the last we harvested. So far, the production is being lower that in the last years, which is in line with the reduction of around 25% in the beneficio system for 2011. The rainfall we had two weeks ago did dont lead to a reduction in the sugar of the grapes. Actually, we are recording higher values than last year, which will mean that lower volumes of brandy will be necessary to fortify our musts (as more sugar of the grapes will be fermented and transformed into alcohol).

Some of our readers have been asking how is quality of 2011 Ports and wines looking like. No clue… nice colors, but not too dark, nice flavors but not surprisingly intense, rich but not overwhelming. Well, maybe we can say that we have balanced musts that need time to show something. And time we have, a lot!

Oscar

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