Replanting Pt 2

As I wrote in last month’s blog about replanting 2 parcels, I would like to share more detail as this is a bigger project than I expected, but then are not all projects like that!?  For the unfortunate reason that our grape vines in these parcels were no longer productive, granted they were 50 years + in age, our decision to completely replant a total of 3.22 hectares (8 acres), of Quinta do Tedo’s 14 hectares, roughly 25% of our total vineyards, is a big commitment.

Given that different countries have different replanting policies, and for the many who read my blog who are in some way connected to the wine industry and/or passionate about viticulture and winemaking, here are the steps and the timeline of the replanting.

1. May 2011 – permission to replant asked to the Portuguese Agriculture Department.

2. June 2011 - ordered and reserved at the nursery the Portuguese grape varieties: 6000 touriga nacional, 6000 touriga franca and 3000 sousão.

3. October 2011 – begin to take out old vines and work soil 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep.

4. November 2011 – permission to replant by the Portuguese Agricultural Department.

5. Dec 2011 to Feb 2012 – start to work the soil with heavy machinery.

6. March 2012 – rebuild walls 1.5 m to 2.5 m high x 1 m deep (5 feet x 8 feet x 3 feet); a total of 300 meters (980 feet) of walls to rebuild!

7. End of March 2012 – we will plant the 15,000 plants, with irrigation permitted for the 1st year for plant establishment.

The project is running according to schedule.  So far this year we have had very limited rainfall, so we have been able to work without problems. The photos, I am sure, can give you a better idea of the project as “a photo is worth a 1000 words”.

Cheers! ~ Kay