January has been wet and cold. Driving up to Portalegre I cross rivers that are stagnant pools in the summer and are now in full flow. At least the rain is falling at the right time. This time last year the ground was bone dry, then torrential rain fell in April and May during the flowering just when we didn’t want it. I arrive at Quinta do Centro to find the barragem full and nearly overflowing.
My Vineyard Blog January 2009
London and Richards Walford Annual Portfolio Tasting. This is the first time that our wine has been on show to the trade, something which makes me proud but slightly apprehensive. There is a good turnout of people from all walks of life: restaurateurs, sommeliers, wine writers and assorted members of the wine trade. There are plenty of exciting wines to attract the crowds with Huet (Vouvray), Rolly Gassman (Alsace), Alain Coche (Meursault) and various Bordeaux classed growths on show.
A cold and deeply depressing start to the year. We have snow in the vineyard at Quinta do Centro and yesterday it snowed in Oporto for the first time in 25 years. The viticultural year has already begun and the pruning is well underway. Most of my worries lie at home with the downward direction of sterling against the euro, which nearly reached parity before Christmas. It represents a double whammy for me as most of the investments that I make in the vineyard come from money earned in the UK. Now with the slide in sterling the price of Pedra Basta will rise by around 30% in the UK.