Fortifying Port Wine – adding alcohol to the must

Making Port Wine - fortification of the must

This photo is a good example of what we have been doing during the last days. After two weeks harvesting, we decided to take a brake so the grapes on the vines can finish the phenolic maturation. All our vineyards located in the bottom of the valley were already harvested. During the next week, should the weather help, we will start harvesting Quinta da Trovisca, located 550 meters above the sea level. After finishing the harvest in Trovisca, we shall move to Senhora do Rosário, located around our winery.

So, the question now is, what is on the photo? This is the moment of the fortification. We are adding a 77% alcohol by volume “brandy” to inhibit yeasts of transforming more sugar into alcohol. This way fermentation stops and we get a sightly sweet wine, Port Wine, also known in the Douro as Vinho Generoso.

Let me know if you have any question!


5 Comments Added

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  1. Emilio Saez van Eerd Wednesday September 29th, 2010 | reply
    I will tweet this post and hope you will get a lot of questions from the jumbowijn followers
  2. Tom Archer Wednesday September 29th, 2010 | reply
    Hi Oscar, Glad to hear you've got your lower lying grapes fully harvested. The weather forecast is not good for the weekend, but as they've been wrong so many times this year, hopefully they will be wrong again.. Of all the quintas, what percentage of the port grapes would you estimate to have been harvested now?
  3. oscar Wednesday September 29th, 2010 | reply
    @Emilio, thank you for helping us spread out the word of our wines!! @Tom, I've heard some people saying it will rain over the weekend, but it's as you say, weather forecast were wrong, probably over 50% of the times. We've harvested all our "A" grade quintas, this is around 60% of our total production of Port Wine.
  4. Freddie Wednesday March 30th, 2011 | reply
    Hi Oscar, Firstly I am giving a presentation on Vintage Ports, and I was wondering what yeasts are used? Are they natural yeasts, or cultivated? Secondly, are you still hiring for the Vindima this September. I am looking for work before studying at Lisbon. coming from Porto, Port and Douro reds run through my veins.
    • Oscar Quevedo Wednesday March 30th, 2011 | reply
      Hi Freddie, we use native yeasts for our Ports, they are more suitable to achieve the complexity we look for in an a aging-worth Port. Great to see that you are a Port ambassador, when and where did you give your presentation about Port? Regarding the possibility to work with us during the harvest, I guess you want to work in the winery, right? Send me your CV please to oscar at quevedo port wine dot com.

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