These hot, dry conditions resulted in an earlier than normal start to the harvest, at Esporao we began on the 3rd August, about a week earlier than usual. Although temperatures were generally on the high side, we did not have extreme heat, with only a few days above 40ºC.The harvest weather conditions were good and we had only one afternoon of rain towards the end of the vintage, so grape quality was excelente throughout.
In vineyards with irrigation, the grape quality was mostly very high although growers without this backup suffered. The cooler, high altitude region of Portalegre, where are we sourcing some 400 tons of mostly red grapes, has produced outstanding quality
Quantity was generally around 10% below average, which was expected given the dry conditions.
At this stage, the whites are looking good with plenty of fruit flavour. The reds have great colour but are still going through malolactic fermentation so final assessment is difficult.