Harvest 2018

Harvest time is an ongoing buzz of activity. The culmination of a year’s work in the vineyards, this year’s later start date 6 September had a consequently later end date 25 September. The first parcels were picked for our Porto Rose’ and Douro DOC red wines, others lacked higher sugar levels for other Porto production, so there were some days when we didn’t pick, very unusual! We picked about 30% less grapes, as is true for most of Douro Valley. This year has been a challenge, a combination of rain until July (instead of March), and cold weather mixed with some burning days. Since we practice organic viticulture, we use a minimum of certified organic treatments. Certain parcels, due to the multitude of microclimates on our property, suffered from either uneven ripeness, mildew and/or powder mildew. This is a first for us, to have this problem.  As climate change is no longer a trendy word, for viticulture there are ramifications and we are not spared.  Still we harvested many parcels with promising fruit under the beautiful Douro Valley sun.

Not only in the vineyards and winery is a lot happening, also in our Tasting Room and Bistro Terrace, as Enotourism (wine tourism) is here to stay.  Douro Valley has become a wine lover’s day-trip destination from Oporto, in addition to those who stay for an average 3 days.  I am so proud of our hard working tour guides, both our multilingual professional Portuguese tour guides, and the 3 French interns working in our Tasting Room during the season. Bistro Terrace’s Tapas do Tedo theme at lunch provided small plate specialties to match our Portos and Wines, as well as sustenance and relax before or after a tour and tasting, and our customers seemed overall very pleased.

Photos always capture the harvest buzz, and here for your enjoyment…..

 Femaie dexterious hands make for selective and efficient picking.

Femaie dexterious hands make for selective and efficient picking.

 Male strength allows for carrying down the slopes full crates.

Male strength allows for carrying down the slopes full crates.

 Unloading and sorting begins, note the 1 white grape cluster!

Unloading and sorting begins, note the 1 white grape cluster!

 Pressing of grapes that afterwards is pumpe to the “lagars”, juice, skins and pits together!

Pressing of grapes that afterwards is pumpe to the “lagars”, juice, skins and pits together!

 Our vineyard workers, after a long day of picking, foot tread 3 hours for approximately 3 days until fortification = birth of a new Porto! Tired, proud and committed, thank you.

Our vineyard workers, after a long day of picking, foot tread 3 hours for approximately 3 days until fortification = birth of a new Porto! Tired, proud and committed, thank you.

 There is also merriment in the  lagars -  together with B and B guests, tour guide Rita and cook Adelaide, to add  allegria  to the adrenaline-charged harvest time.

There is also merriment in the lagars - together with B and B guests, tour guide Rita and cook Adelaide, to add allegria to the adrenaline-charged harvest time.

 Work continues….time is of the essence!

Work continues….time is of the essence!

 At the end of the day…remember “Purple Feet = Promising Porto”!

At the end of the day…remember “Purple Feet = Promising Porto”!