The Harvest at Quinta da Falorca

Mario Rui Ferreira returns to talk about the harvest experience in the Dão:

These are exciting times for everyone involved in the wine production all over the planet, full of common situations, with people doing their best not to make mistakes, that won’t have the chance of correction before the next harvest.  In fact,  if experience is key in all our activities and we all try to get the most we can everyday, as far as wine is concerned, it’s a yearly basis thing.  When this harvest will be over and the wine is made, the next opportunity to learn more and consolidate, will take a year.  The way I see it, that’s one of the reasons why wine is a very special thing… a spontaneous gift from the combination of Nature and mankind, that when it works exceptionally well, the result is expressed in unique wines.

This year at Falorca, everything went on smoothly, and that is the best way to mention that we had no surprises.  The grapes, in more quantity than in 2009, didn’t struggle to ripen in our balanced climate, were very sweet and in a perfect condition, and it took us 4 weeks to pick them all in our own rhythm and pace, not rushing, and using small cases that we then transported to the cellars.  The weather was fine all along, except for a rainy and windy Sunday, followed by an amazing sunny and hot Monday, that was our last harvest day for this year.

old vine at esmoitadaI am the kind of guy that enjoys very much the exposure to nice aromas, always putting my nose everywhere, smelling everything, sometimes I even find myself trying to smell a glass of water, really, so, being in our cellars now is just amazing, with all the variety of aromas there.  The white and the rosé are ending their fermentation at controlled low temperatures, and the reds are all now far from getting ready in stainless steel vats.  We will have a few surprises to show in the near future, but to get to know them, people will need to come and see us, or wait quite a bit, until the wines will be released in the following years, as we don’t take them to the market before the moment they will be ready, and that usually takes a while with us.  The white is a very small production, around 2,500 bottles of an Encruzado and Malvasia Fina blend.  The vineyard is very young, and in the last year we made a few liters with the grapes we had, just to have a first insight, and we really enjoyed the wine, so the expectations are high.  The rosé will be pretty much in line with what we’ve been doing, year after year, a 100% Touriga Nacional , very dry, full of fruit and freshness, with a lingering finish.

As final notes, I’ve been talking with several friends, wine makers and owners from several regions in the world, and when asked about this year’s harvest, generally everybody seemed happy, and for me that’s the thing about people, vineyards, grapes and wines.  We all should be pleased to be alive, and about what Nature gives us, what we are able to do with it, sometimes worse, sometimes better, and share and enjoy it in its authenticity and diversity.  These days, every time I go to the vineyards, I stop for a while, I remain silent and I think of all the wines in the cellar, sort of finding their own ways that will somehow turn them unique.  At the moment, we are looking after all the empty plants that gave us their fruits but are still full of life and remain dressed with their leaves that, in the wind, seem like whistling water color explosions against Serra da Estrela in a not so far horizon… We are keeping our sweet relation of nurturing them, starting now the year that follows, hoping that when a bottle of our 2010 wines will be opened in the future, people may think to themselves that it was a nice year.

I’d like to take the chance to say thank you to Cynthia for the idea of sharing this space.  It was a cool experience.

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