The Influence of Sun Exposure at Quinta dos Murças

The Influence of Sun Exposure at Quinta dos Murças

We soon realized that the characteristics of a place like Quinta dos Murças are very important in defining the character of our wines. The different sun exposures and altitudes are two aspects that are key to determine a wine’s profile.

The Quinta is located at the beginning of the sub-region of Cima Corgo, closer to the sub-region of Baixo Corgo and, as this is a cooler part of the Douro, vineyards getting good sun exposure is essential for grape ripening.

To better understand the sun’s influence, we set up cameras in four vineyards and left them to film. We observed the sun’s movement in the vineyards that produce Murças Minas, Reserva, Margem and VV47 for 14 hours and this consolidated some ideas and allowed us to draw important conclusions.

Our north-facing vineyards, such as the Assobio, are more sheltered from the sun, producing more aromatic and less mature wines with acidity and bold fruit.

The Campo Redondo and Minas vineyards face south/south east. Boasting vertical vines and exposed to the sun for various hours a day, they produce very concentrated grapes.

Some parts of the Vinha do Rio, Vinha de Vale Figueira and Assobio vineyards are planted on west-facing slopes, which enjoy more hours of sun during the afternoon, when it is warmer. This means more concentrated, riper grapes that produce wines with greater structure and more mature fruit.

Altitude can underline or balance exposure and the vineyards at higher altitudes are cooler. The areas closest to the river, which are at a lower altitude, are subject to higher temperatures, producing potentially warmer, more concentrated and mature wines.