Video: foot treading grapes in the Douro

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 three or four hours in the evening.

Foot treading in the lagar is important for Port, because lots of extraction is needed in only a short time (the grapes typically ferment for just two days before the addition of spirit), but this extraction must be gentle. The human foot is pretty good at this.

You might be able to spot Chris Losh, Emily O’Hare, Patricia Langton, Richard Woodard and Annie Limm if you look carefully enough (and know these individuals). I filmed for a few minutes, but then joined in.

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