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


Quinta Senhora do Rosário – December 2008













Quinta Senhora do Rosário – February 2012












What is wrong with these two photos? Once again it is all about the weather. For almost three months that we have clear sky, with plenty of sunshine, envying many Summers in Portugal. The photo on the left is from December 2008 while the photo on the right is from yesterday.

We can see that the roads show a lighter brown in yesterday’s photo, due to the long period without rain. There is no weeds in the soil as there is no water on the surface. There are still some humidity in the soil, at over one meter deep, but with the Spring arriving, bringing higher temperatures, this humidity will slowly reduce, increasing the risk of drought for the vines. Some producers are already irrigating the young vines, while small fires emergence after people burn old vine shooting. Things are not easy over here unless you come for tourism.



2 Comments Added

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  1. jeff Wednesday February 29th, 2012 | reply
    Isn't that the merits of having older vines and tilling the soil deep?  The older vines I thought go deeper for water giving them better growing during these hot times like this.
    • Anonymous Wednesday February 29th, 2012 | reply
       That's right, they are better prepared for dry weather. The problem is that there is no water reserves in the soil, accumulated during the Winter for the Summer.

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