Vintage Report 2013 – A Herculean Harvest!

Vintage 2013- Synopsis

Our 18th vintage. A dry winter, followed by a cold and wet spring. A moderate summer, which heated up in August. A delayed growing season, with late flowering, ripening and a large harvest.  High Acids, ripe tannins.

The Star white varieties of 2013:  Sauvignon Blanc, Alvarinho, (from our coastal vineyards) and Viognier (from the inland vineyards at Cortes de Cima).

The Star red varieties of 2013:  Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Harvest 2013
Vintage 2013 – in dates…

3 March – Bud break (2 weeks tardy)

14 May – Flowering

12 July – Veraision

16 August – 1st day of vintage  (Viognier)

27-30 September – 23mm rain

18 October – last day of vintage (late!)

Vintage 2013 – in numbers…

717 mm rain (average but very abnormally distributed)

2 months and 2 days of harvest  (longest ever recorded)

+100 harvest workers

1,876 tons of grapes

9 tons/ ha average yield

89% red and 11% white grapes

Vintage 2013 – in words…

Every stage in the vineyard was delayed by up to 2 weeks- budbreak, flowering, veraison and harvest.

Although the winter rainfall was normal at 717mm, it was distributed abnormally, concentrated in 2 wet months – November and March, with a long, cold dry winter in between.

Spring, around the time of flowering in mid May, was cooler than usual, puttineg a brake on vine growth.

Summer came early but stayed moderate until arrival of the August heat.  September and October harvest weather was superb, with the exception of some unusual mid-harvest September rain, which put a temporary stop to the grape picking.

Unusually, the majority of the fruit was harvested not in September, but in October, due to the delayed ripening. Because of the combination of the late harvest with the September rain, rot was more of an issue than during a normal year in the Alentejo, especially in some varieties (Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira).
At the moment in the winery, the reds are looking very promising, showing good structure and upfront tannins. Acid levels are higher, giving more freshness and exuberance, and a good ageing potential.

Checking fruit quality

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