The Harvest 2008: How The City Guys Saw It In Quevedo

Editor’s note: Since 2002, my friends from University have come to our winery one week-end during the harvest, helping us to pick-up grapes, to bring it to the winery and also to make wine. This year the ritual was the same and we asked João Sarmento to write about that week-end and post it in our blog. There were two previous posts (1, 2) made during that week-end and now João is posting the last one, in which we also have a video produced by Renato Lima with the collaboration of Ana Isabel Fonseca. I I would like to say a thank you to all of them, not just by the post but mainly for those great moments we always have when we are together. Oscar Quevedo.

Rise and shine sleepy heads!

Today the makeup and high heals can stay at home, for the ladies. Men don’t need to shave or use a tie. The day is fully dedicated to the rocky soil of Douro’s region and its richness. You have to be prepared for a dirty pair of hands and a sweaty shirt. You have to be prepared for companionship, for a smile in the face of your friends, with a beautiful landscape as background.

The harvest begins at the first hours of the morning, when the first sunbeams touch the delightful bunches in the vineyards.

This year we went to Valongo dos Azeites, a small village 20 Km from S. João da Pesqueira. It’s very frequent a producer to have his properties in a 25 Km radius of its cellar. The terrain is rough and the people of the region know how to perform small miracles and take advantage of every little corner. This small portion in particular has perfect conditions for white grapes.

Scissors ready. Men and women ready. Boxes spread in the field. Let the games begin!

Four hours of recollection and enjoyment. Not a healthy grape can be left behind. This fortune can’t be wasted.

Let me tell you a small episode that shows how far goes the commitment of Quevedo to their land. During the collection somebody found a small almond tree right in the middle of the vineyards. The tree was young, three years at the most, and could not grow in that place. It could be rapidly ripped out but it will not survive. Oscar had a plan. We had to take it with maximum care, so it could be replanted in a proper location. To me this shows respect for ecological values and a profound conscience of balanced agriculture.

Then, came the return to the cellar. A calm trip because the cargo was precious and the road was twisty; a sinuous path, full of ups and downs, like the most of this region.

At the arrival to the cellar, all the big machines were ready to process the 1.250 Kg that we’ve catch. A couple of minutes and all the branches were separated from the grapes that followed to the massive stainless containers. There the fermentation began. And that was the beginning of a complex natural process, which transforms grape juice in the tasteful Quevedo White Port.

I let you with a small video, which shows all the activities.

João Sarmento

Related Posts:

Tired Men and Women, a Few Scratches, the Birth of a Magic Quevedo White Port

Coming up soon: The Mistery of the Harvest at Quevedo’s Winery