A Late Harvest?

Despite (or perhaps because of) the recent blast of heat we are heading for a late harvest this year. The pintor has only just arrived this week, a good two weeks later than normal. The pintor or painter is the local name for veraison when the grapes change colour. Last year the pintor arrived at the end of July, in 2011 it was 15th July and in 2010 it was 22nd July.  On the basis it is usually 55 days from the arrival of the pintor to the harvest, we will not be picking until late September. I think that the delay is mostly due to the late spring (there was snow on the Serra da Estrela in late May - see above) but extreme heat alos causes the vines to shut down and delays ripening. Walking round the vineyard and tasting the grapes, there is very little sugar accumulation in anything but the Alicante Bouschet. Over all we have the prospect of a good sized, healthy looking crop this year and it is to be hoped that from now on we have warm weather with some rain at the end of the month or early September to swell the grapes.