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2022's Harvest
September 2023
The cycle started with some delay due to the winter low temperatures, but developed to normal during the spring. As the summer progressed, we confirmed that we were facing a particularly difficult year, not only in the Douro region but throughout the country. In addition to an annual accumulation of precipitation well below the average, the season was extremely warm and dry, with very extensive heat waves and record high temperatures (a new maximum for the month of July recorded in Pinhão of 47 degrees).

The impact of weather conditions on the vines was significant, with very low soil humidity levels, the vines had little vegetative growth and yields were very low, with bunches and berries being smaller and lighter than usual. At the same time, our vines of some grape varieties also produced fewer bunches than normal, as was the case of Touriga Franca and, in the whites Códega do Larinho. On the other hand, there were no concerns about diseases.

We anticipated that it would be an early harvest similar to 2017 and if the white varieties were harvested early and with good levels of sugar and acidity, benefiting from the 650m of altitude (Viosinho on August 24th, Códega de Larinho and Rabigato in early September), red varieties faced some maturation difficulties. Even so, we went ahead picking some Touriga Nacional, Franca and Alicante Bouschet for a first vinification on the 7th and 8th of September, with relatively low levels of sugar and acidity, but with the grapes in excellent conditions and a must with good colors and aromas.

As September progressed, the temperature finally dropped and the rain in the middle of the month was essential for the very positive evolution of the remaining grapes, especially Touriga Franca. After a break of a week and a half, we harvest the remaining grapes for Chronicle Tinto and Linha 1 on the 24th and 25th of September. The must had good acidity and higher sugar levels and good structure.

Considering the extreme conditions, the vines reacted very well, especially those at higher altitudes and with solar orientation less exposed to heat. Touriga Nacional was the variety that showed the best performance, both in terms of production and fruit quality.

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