New planting at Cornalheira
We are replanting one of our Cornalheira old vines. These vines, planted about 40 years ago, with the grape varieties and the techniques used at the time, with considerable presence of red Mourisco and red and white varieties mixed, are not compatible with the current objectives, in terms of quality wine production and also economic terms. We also took the opportunity to migrate other dispersed small parcels.
We are replanting close to 2 hectares, at an altitude ranging from 350 to 400m and orientation between north and west.
The replanting process began with the removal of wires and posts that sustain the old vines. Then, the old plants are removed, ensuring that nothing is left, fundamental step to prevent the transmission of any wood diseases. Our winter fireplace will benefit from this increase, without limitation, of combustible material.
We are currently at the stage of revolving the soil (surriba) and opening the terraces, which is raising some difficulties where old terraces already existed, but were too large and required revision. Nothing that Mr. Manuel, our "surribador" for many years, cannot handle with competency, although requiring more time. Sometimes it is necessary to ask the help of dynamite, when the bulldozer strength is not enough to break some tougher rock.
After opening the terraces, it is time to break the stone that stayed on the top, work done by a machine. In some cases, it is necessary to remove the stones and storage somewhere where it does not interfere with works in the vineyards.
Finally, it is the moment to plant. We’ve selected Touriga Franca (2/3) and Sousão (1/3) varieties. Due to high demand, the ready grafts were booked a few months in a selected vendor with whom we have been working. The quality of the grafts is critical to the success of the plantation.
To plant the vines the first step is to stretch two strings in each terrace, one 30 cm from the outer edge and another 30 cm from the inner edge, adding a mark every 90 cm. Then, an iron stick is used to open the holes about 50cm deep, where the young plants are introduced. Immediately, a jet of water is released to close the hole and irrigate the plant.
In a few months we’ll share the growth of new plants.