The End of Harvest

After a week of heavy rain, today is the last day of vintage. We are picking the Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon, always the last of our grapes to ripen and they are especially late this year. We have lost a portion of our crop to the rain with rot affecting both the Trincadeira and some of the Touriga Nacional (mainly the grapes on the deeper soils which are bigger and susceptible to berry burst as the vines quickly take up water after the summer drought). We had to employ extra pickers and they have been very selective, leaving affected bunches on the vine. Now that the rain has stopped we are concluding the harvest much as it began, under clear skies and warm sunshine. A green haze is now appearing in the fields previously parched by the summer heat.