The thermometer onn my car reached 43oC this afternoon. Everything is tinder-dry and forest fires have been breaking out all over Portugal. There have been over 1,000 in the last week, including one here on the serra yesterday afternoon. We have some important visitors here this week, Kris Jeuris (our importer in Belgium) and Jo Locke MW (the buyer for the Wine Society in the UK). They will never believe me when I tell them that we have a realtively cool climate.
My Vineyard Blog July 2010
The heat has returned and we have temperatures in the high 30s. Driving up from Lisbon yesterday the car thermometer registered 41 degrees centigrade near Ponte de Sor. Last night I went to the birthday party of an English neighbour and when I left at 3.30am the thermometer was still registering 29oC. Tomba Lobos, the excellent little restaurant that we have in the nearby hamlet of Pedra Basta, is closing today and will re-open at the end of August in new premises (formerly O Tarro) in the centre of Portalagre.
O pintor chegou. ‘The painter has arrived’. In local parlance this means that the grapes are changing colour and we have veraison in the vineyard. First the Aragonez and now the Trincadeira grapes are just starting to change colour. Earlier in the year we were at least a week behind but now we can expect to be harvesting in the second week of September – about normal. It will be a large crop, our largest yet, not just because of the new vineyards coming on stream but also due to the winter rains and good conditions at the time of flowering.
After a blast of 40 degree heat at the start of the month, the weather is now thankfully cooler. The vines have weathered well and it looks as though we will have a large crop this year, especially the Alicante Bouschet. We have just finished our monda(green harvest) with around one third of the Alicante cut to the ground. It would be much better if we could achieve an earlier equilibrium with these vines which consistently overporduce - this is something that I must look at for next year.