José Luis Moreira da Silva winemaker
1. What do you expect from the Quinta dos Murças terroir wines this year?
Climate conditions always have a great influence on a wine’s characteristics, and are part of the expression of the terroir itself. This was a more difficult agricultural year, and I believe this will make the wines more concentrated. The most exposed zones (facing west) will yield fruit that is even riper, and the more sheltered zones or those that receive more water, will yield fresher fruit. Because the climate this year was more extreme, I think the differences between terroirs may be more evident and reflected in our wines.
2. Despite the innovations that were implemented, some traditions still remain. Which ones and why?
We maintained the wine presses and foot treading. I believe that extraction in the wine press is better and more selective, resulting in wines that are more concentrated, with more colour and tannins. This is part of the Douro’s history and it defines a unique style of wine. And the lagarada (foot treading ceremony) is a unique experience. The team comes together to tread the grapes at a single and steady pace, while chanting traditional songs. The vibration in the winery changes. It is a frenzy that, at the same time, is measured, and brings new energy to an otherwise strenuous task.
3. What do you enjoy most about this time of year?
To start the day very early, while the sun is still low, tasting grapes in the vineyards. To open the winery doors in the morning and sense the aromas of fermentation in the air, which are sweet and exhilarating.
To reach the end of a work day, tired, and go for a beer with the team. To share a moment of relaxation with the people who worked beside me all day to get the best out of our grapes.