Old wines? I love them. And some of the best old wines are fortified wines: Madeira, Vintage Port, Tawny Port and VORS Sherry.
This is a 60 year old single-vintage Tawny Port (the official name for vintage dated Tawnies is Colheita), released to commerate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It’s fabulous and expensive, but good value when [...]
A short film from a visit to Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha, in the heart of the beautiful Pinhao Valley. I am with Paul Symington and viticulturist Miles Edlmann.
Now this is terribly geeky: I know. But when I visited Quinta dos Malvedos last September I was delighted to see a wild vine growing in a tree.
This is really interesting to me, because this is the native habitat for the grape vine. Originally, all vines would have been woodland climbers. They are adapted for [...]
Yesterday’s New Douro tasting was one of the best yet. While the emphasis was on the 2009 vintage, producer’s also brought the odd older wine, which was appreciated. 2009 is a ripe, warm year, but despite the heat and lack of rain that characterized this vintage, the wines have a lovely purity and openness to [...]
Here’s a short film from this year’s harvest at Quinta de Roriz in Portugal’s Douro region. This is where the famous table wine Chryseia is made. It’s a beautiful property. We also get to see the Mistral sorting machine at work: this uses a jet of air to blow away raisined berries which would contribute [...]
In this short film, Paul Symington describes the way his company have pioneered the use of mechanical foottreaders (also known as robotic lagares) for Port production. It’s not straighforward: Port needs a rapid but relatively gentle extraction, and the human foot is especially good at this.
A film from my recent Douro visit. It’s Graham’s spectacular Quinta dos Malvedos, shot the day before harvest began.
For more on Malvedos, take a look at the superb Graham’s blog.
While I was staying in the Douro last week, I had a chance to see some historical pictures from the first decade of the last century.
I’ve posted them online here. I find the Douro a fascinating region for many reasons – not least, the very real connection with history and tradition. Bringing the wines down [...]
So here’s a film of foot treading at Quinta do Vesuvio, one of the Symington’s properties in the Douro. It’s amazing to think that many of the top Port wines are still made in this ancient fashion. Port grapes are loaded into the lagar after being picked during the day, and are then trodden for [...]
Quinta dos Canais
Just back from the Douro, on a trip visiting the Symington family’s properties. It’s always good to be in the Douro, and especially so at harvest time. It hasn’t been the easiest of growing seasons, but good weather over the last few weeks coupled with good weather over the next few (which [...]