Climatic conditions suggest an early quality Port harvest in the Douro Valley, Portugal.
As many parts of Europe continue to experience drought conditions, vineyard conditions in the Douro Valley are near perfect, with véraison or ‘Pintor’, (which literally means the painting of the grapes in Portuguese) well underway through all of the Fladgate Partnership’s vineyards. Balanced vigour and growth of the vines is apparent and the canopies are still a luscious green.
The rainfall in the autumn of 2014 has been crucial in this much drier year, helping to sustain the vines through a hot summer to date. The viticultural cycle is, in our estimation about 2 weeks ahead of normal, due to the very warm and dry conditions since early spring.
A very good indicator for our Head Viticulturist, António Magalhães, of the development of our vineyards is the grape variety Touriga Nacional. It is always a late developer and has already changed colour to a deep purple.
Commenting on the growing year to date, David Guimaraens said,” The conditions are similar to 2011. Both years experienced warm dry springs and summer, although the winter preceding 2011 was wetter. The ground water reserves this year are fine so we expect a very good harvest, although it will be starting earlier than usual.
We expect to start harvest in the last week of August at our Quinta da Nogueira winery”.