The first sign of autumn

There was touch of autumn in the air this morning; dew on the car and heavy grey clouds over the Serra de S. Mamede. Thunderstorms are forecast for the north of Portugal but we should escape them.  I taste through the ferments.  Some of them are too warm and proceedingrather too rapidly but we have some very good Syrah fermenting slowly in a wooden balseiro and the old vine fruit looks more and more promising. The grapes are coming in dribs and drabs at the moment due to a shortage of pickers and we fill half a vat of Touriga Nacional with the rest to be picked on tomorrow.