A pause in the vintage

A pause in the vintage. We have stopped picking for the last four days because the Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Nacional are still not ripe. The crop is large (despite our green harvest in June) and with the warm dry weather continuing the vines have shut down. I understand that we are not alone in this and that Alicante is not ripening anywhere in the Alentejo. My fear now is that the grapes may never fully ripen! Still, the wine we have so far is looking good. The old vine Trincadeira and Aragonez is now in barrel, the Trincadeira (2000) vineyard produced some good wine this year and the Syrah/Viognier, although still fermenting, looks dark and well structured, especially for young vine fruit. I think that we will start picking the Touriga Nacional at the end of the week (when rain is forecast) and leave the Alicante Bouschet until early next week. It is going to be a long vintage.