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 vines. I guess the first question is why did we decide to plant Tinta Amarela on the top? The reason for that is because this variety is very sensitive to humidity and hot temperatures. After flowering it can quickly be affected by mildew and powder mildew if there is a little bit of humidity and temperatures are in the 22º – 25º C range. The best location for Tinta Amarela is in areas with lower humidity, windy and where temperatures are not too high during the Summer.

To plant the vines the first step is to draw a line along the terrace, with 50cm to the external edge. Then, we use an iron stick to open a 80cm-deep hole. After this we place the young vine in the hole and use water to immediately irrigate and close the hole. The distance between vines is of 80cm.

My sister Cláudia made a video with all these steps. Who knows if one day it won’t help you to become a vine grower in the Douro. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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  • Joe

    Oscar, Interesting and fast way to plant a vine. Is the young vine with trimmed roots able to grow quickly downward because the terrace is still soft, not compacted? Tinta Amarela is sensitive to humidity and heat during ripening on this side of the globe too. Do you use any systemic fungicides on Tinta Amarela? Oscar, I think I was born in the wrong country, in that I am growing Portugese grapes!! Joe

    • quevedo

      Hi Joe, nice to hear from you. If you leave the old roots in the vine they will eventually dry out and died. So we cut them before to make it easier for the vine to grow the news and to make sure they grow downwards. And they really need to go down because on the surface the water is very little. In certain years we need to use systemic fungicides, but in others we grow it in an almost organic way. Do you like the Tinta Amarela in you wine blend?

      • Joe

        Hi Oscar, Yes I like the flavors Tinta Amarela adds to a blend.It has plum flavors when the wine is young,but always ends up with dark chocolate with time. It is used to give body to a Tinta Roriz/Tempanillo table wine. It is a little too much if the grapes are overripe. I dont think Tinta Amarela will really be planted too much here as sensitivity to rot and heat stop most plantings, but it does really well in rocky soil with smaller berries and clusters. Great to talk to you from a far. Joe