At 07:00 an overcast morning with moderate temperatures, which continued throughout the day. These conditions – bright overcast and mild warm temperatures – are perfect for ripening the Touriga Franca.
My second-floor room in the Carris hotel was a mere bottle’s throw across a cobbled street from the historic Factory House, a de facto clubhouse for the British port shippers in Oporto, northern Portugal. When I woke at 7am, I could see the Wedgwood-blue ballroom swarming with people hard at work decanting the three bottles of each of the 19 great vintage ports we were to taste that morning. When the tasting started at 11.30am, we were warned that this exercise was a one-off. That morning half of the world’s stock of Cockburn 1896, for example, would be opened, and there would be only four bottles of the 1912 left after our predations.
At 07:30 it was a cool and clear morning with just a little mist in the valley. The afternoon was sunny and warm rather than hot (like last week) and just what we need to get the Touriga Franca at perfect maturity for picking next week.
It was a bright blue sky this morning without a ripple on the river; however, as the day wore on there was a mixture of sun and clouds. Fortunately there was no more rain! Charles says the forecast is for clear weather ahead – let’s hope so.
This morning it was decidedly cool and overcast, but with no rain and some wind. By mid-morning the wind dropped and there was some light rain which became heavier towards lunch time. After lunch by mid afternoon it had cleared up and we expect the weather to clear further overnight.
Port wine’s characteristics distinguish it from common wines. All varieties of Port have rich, intense, and very persistent aromas and flavour, with high alcohol content (usually between 19% and 22% vol.). They exist in a variety of sweetness and colours. In order to identify the several types of Port, some designations are used.
There were some more showers last night, but this morning the clouds have cleared and it’s a relatively cool temperature. Throughout the day there were some threatening clouds but fortunately no more rain fell.
Every single month since November 2011 has had a lower record of rainfall than the long term average. And now that we started harvesting, it rains. Is this possible? The whole year has been very dry, special during Winter when we had several weeks of dry weather, with the sun shining from morning till evening. And now that we need dry weather, it rains.
The weather has well and truly changed today. I woke at 4am with a huge thunderclap overhead in the early morning and there were light showers. We had some more sporadic rain after lunch. The autumn equinox was yesterday 22nd September and it usually brings with it some instability in the weather as was the case today. The rain was accompanied by a strong east wind blowing up river which will have helped to dry out the grapes. So at this stage there is no cause for concern, however let’s see what next week brings us in terms of weather. Temperatures are now cooler which is also advantageous for the grapes at this stage of the Vintage as more hot weather could lead to raisining.
On Friday, 14th of September, just a couple of days before the vintage started at Malvedos, the Spirit of Chartwell crossed the bar of the Douro after completing its sea voyage from Ramsgate in Kent. Readers will no doubt remember that this was the Royal barge in which the Queen and other members of the Royal Family sailed down the Thames for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3rd — the highlight of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Portuguese entrepreneur, Mário Ferreira, whose thriving company, ‘Douro Azul’ operates river cruises along the Douro River, acquired the Spirit of Chartwell from its British owner, Philip Morrell. The latter was unable to obtain from the relevant authorities a license to operate the vessel on a tourist route along the Thames.
Was der “kleine Johnson” für den hiesigen Weinkenner ist, bietet speziell für die teilweise noch immer unterschätzten portugiesischen Weine der alljährlich erscheinende Weinführer Vinhos de Portugal von João Paulo Martins.
At 7:30 it was a cool morning with a light refreshing breeze. It’s raining in Porto today, but fortunately no sign of the weather changing here for the moment – today has certainly been hot, mostly clear and dry. However, the weather forecast says we can expect a thunderstorm on Sunday, followed by dry weather and cooler temperatures next week.
Graham’s Ports are a blend of wines made from grapes from 5 quintas around the Douro. Readers will be most familiar with Quinta dos Malvedos, our flagship quinta where we have our winery, and neighbouring Quinta do Tua. But there are three more quintas, each of which has a unique terroir which enriches the blends of Graham’s Ports.