Two lovely Douro reds at the Dirty Dozen tasting

Thoroughly enjoyed the Dirty Dozen tasting today. It’s the start of term for us wine writers this week. We’re back in the tasting and travelling season. Tomorrow is the Bunch tasting, which will also be really good, and then on Friday I am off to the Douro for the weekend.

It’s so hard (and seems a [...]

Another lovely Portuguese red from Quinta do Noval

One of my favourite wine countries: Portugal. Some great terroirs, and some inspiring wine growers. And lots of progress over the last decade.

This red, the second wine from Quinta do Noval (see my review here), is brilliant value for money. It’s a really good wine in its own right – forget the fact that it’s [...]

A brilliant resource for Douro fans: map of the Quintas

Really delighted to stumble across this superb online resource. It’s The Port Lovers’ Forum map of Douro Quintas.

For anyone like me who has been to the Douro a number of times, this is a brilliantly useful map. If you travel around the region by road, it’s really easy to be disoriented. Travelling by river is [...]

1952 Colheita from Graham for the Diamond Jubilee

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 [...]

In the Douro, at Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha in the Pinhao Valley

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.

Spotted in the Douro: wild vines

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 [...]

Highlights from yesterday's New Douro tasting

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 [...]

Harvest time at Quinta de Roriz (Video)

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 [...]

Video: mechanical/robotic foot treading for Port

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.

Video: the spectacular Quinta dos Malvedos in the Douro, Portugal

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.