Early Heatwave

Being an Englishman I am never reluctant to talk about the weather but I am aware that this diary sometimes risks repeating itself. However least week we experienced some of the highest springtime temperatures ever with the thermometer approaching 40oC. This is an inauspicious time for freak weather as the vines are going through flowering and fruit set. Often it is rain that hampers the flowering and causesdesavinho, especially in Touriga Nacional which it very prone to this. This year the heat seems to have done for us with the late flowering Alicante Bouschet most at risk. This is normally one of our most productive varieties but it looks as though quantities might be substantially down this year.