Mário Nátario, the viticulturalist for Graham’s Quinta do Vale de Malhadas is also responsible for Quinta do Vesuvio, next door. At Vesuvio Mário is experimenting with pilheiros, a traditional method of planting vines in the schist walls of the vineyards. We believe this is the only quinta in the Douro to be reviving this method of planting, even on a trial basis.
Quinta do Vale de Malhadas in the Douro SuperiorAfter an unusually hot May and a cool early June, temperatures soared into the low 40s Celsius during the last weekend of the month, inflicting the worst sunburn in living memory on the vineyards.
June turned out to be rather a strange month, surprising both in its extreme temperatures over one devastating weekend, and in its unseasonable coolness during the rest of the month. After an abnormally hot May (which registered a mean temperature three degrees above average in Pinhão) it was hardly unexpected when things cooled down considerably as the new month got underway. And although it was initially dry and sunny, it stayed remarkably fresh by the standards of this time of the year, at least for the first three weeks. Furthermore, it felt much less oppressive than a usual June because of some quite windy days which were generally welcomed as they helped to bring about a reduction in the overall humidity. The morning dews that had caused us problems with fungal diseases accordingly came to an end as a fortuitous consequence.
… is Quevedo Port Wine, which opened just a few weeks ago. From the Cais de Gaia turn up Rua Afonso III – which is the one just along the eastern side of the Ramos Pinto building – you will see a stack of signposts pointing up that way for Offley and other long established tasting rooms. This street leads to a small place with a church, Igreja Santa Marinha, and the tasting room is on your left, opposite the church.
In April 2009 I worked behind the scenes at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London and became friends with Nicola Thomson, who has since come to visit me here in Porto several times. Nicola is an independent wine professional who organises and presents wine tastings and courses, writes restaurant and wine reviews and has judged at the IWC as well as other wine competitions. She holds her WSET Diploma and will shortly begin her MW studies.
The first tastings of the 2009 Vintage Ports, in the UK, Portugal and more recently the USA, have drawn an enthusiastic response from key wine media and trade. Tasting notes and ratings from leading wine critics and publications can be found on the Taylor, Vargellas Vinha Velha, Fonseca and Croft pages of this site. The latest accolades come from the July issue of the leading Portuguese wine magazine Revista dos Vinhos which awards the Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009 a near perfect score of 19.5 out of 20. Taylor and Fonseca follow up with 19 and 18.5 respectively.
It was Vinexpo here in Bordeaux last week. A large number of the world’s wine producers and distributors together with international wine journalists and this year a good few high flying sommeliers descended on Bordeaux from Sunday to Thursday.
On Monday, I traveled from Porto to the Douro Valley, and stayed at the Fladgate Partnership’s Vargelas estate, warmly hosted by Alistair and Gillyane Robertson. I interviewed Alistair to get the history of the company going back to 1692, one of the missing pieces I need to finish the film. I just needed a brief overview, but ended up with over an hour’s worth of material. More great stories, and more anxiety how I’m going to fit it all in.
The schedule has gotten in the way of transcribing my notes from a solid half-dozen wine events of late, so over the next few weeks expect a flood of wine tasting reports. I'm starting off with this dispatch from Fladgate's 2009 Vintage Port event, in which the company poured not just samples of the newly declared 2009 Vintage Port from its three estates -- Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca, and Croft -- but also the other three vintages from the last decade, 2007, 2003, and 2000.
Although generally very warm, April ended on something of a sour note with a quite wet last two days. May, however, saw conditions swiftly returning to earlier form. With the exception of the first day, it basically didn’t rain at all in many places and the daily maximum temperatures set off on a steep upward trajectory almost immediately. With the clear skies and longer hours of sun each day it got hotter and hotter, so that by about the 10th we had passed 30º C, still rising. With most of week two in the thirties it was already clear that we were looking forward to an unseasonably hot average for the second consecutive month. The unmistakable feeling that summer was setting upon us was further reinforced as soon as the hot winds that blow up the Douro valley started to be felt at the end of the day. These strong, dehydrating gusts pick up towards dusk, but only in the summer months, and readily bring on a peculiar kind of thirst which can only be slaked by reacquainting oneself with an icy glass of Alex and Johann’s most successful joint venture, indispensably garnished with a decently-sized slice of one of Malvedos’s juiciest lemons.
A Região Demarcada do Douro vai transformar em vinho do Porto 85 mil pipas em 2011, menos 25 mil do que na vindima anterior, anunciou hoje o presidente do Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP), Luciano Vilhena Pereira.
Outside of three important interviews, the reason for this trip is to get quality visual material that will convey much of the story. On Saturday, I filmed for a couple of hours during a boat ride on the Douro around the area of Porto and Gaia courtesy of Oscar Quevedo, complementing two previous ones in other areas of the river.
Nach der Geschichte und dem Herstellungsverfahren der portugiesischen Weinikone, folgt nun hier eine Übersicht der verschiedenen Ausbaustile. Dies sollte dir helfen, den richtigen Portwein für dich selber zu finden. Wie immer gilt auch hier: Probieren geht über studieren, selbstverständlich!
Es ist einmal wieder so weit: Es gibt eine neue Karte mit den Weinbauregionen Portugals.Die aktuellen Änderungen betreffen die ehemalige Landweinregion Beiras (VR Beiras), welche sich zunächst in zwei Regionen aufgeteilt hatte und nunmehr aus vier Landweingebieten besteht:VR Távora-VarosaVR Terras do DãoVR Beira AtlânticoVR Terras da BeiraDie Karte kann hier als jpg und hier als pdf runtergeladen werden.
No visit to the Douro Valley can be complete without a visit to a winery for this is the way to understanding the landscape and heritage of the region. As part of our stay at the Aquapura we arranged to go wine tasting at two quintas at the heart of the revolution in Douro table wines, Quinta Vale D. Maria and state of the art Quinta de Napoles.