2018 harvest

10 January 2019 / By Quinta de Cottas

The 2018 growing-season presented once again great difficulties with periods of drought, prolonged rain, localized hail storms, great mildew pressure and the effects of a heat wave. All these difficulties could not fail to reflect a fall in production.

It all started with a cold and dry winter with very little rain. Spring was extremely rainy, with March, April and May registering rainfall levels equivalent to approximately twice the average for this time of year and culminating in a strong thunderstorm and hail storm on May 28. The soils were unable to absorb so much water in such a short time, which caused landslides and slopes.

Due to these heavy rains and low temperatures, the bud brake phase and late flowering resulted in marked losses and the delay of the grapevine cycle in about 2 weeks.

The high humidity levels provided the ideal conditions for the exceptionally aggressive mildew this year, which attacked the vines and caused in many cases high losses in production. Downy mildew also meant increased costs for winegrowers due to additional treatments to combat the disease.

Summer started with mild temperatures, which kept the growing season slow, but August brought periods of high heat and above-average temperatures. In early August, temperatures above 40ºC were recorded in the Cima Corgo sub-region, a heat wave that caused scalding phenomena in many vines, with the most sensitive vineyards and grape varieties being less resistant to intense heat and suffering more. September presented with warm days, which contributed to an acceleration of the maturation, and very cool nights, which contributed strongly to the quality of grapes and wines.

It was a late harvest, determined by the delay in the vegetative cycle of the vineyard, which eventually determined that the harvesting took place approximately two weeks later than usual in the region, but overall the quality was excellent.

The white wines are fresh, very aromatic, delicate and with very good acidity, which anticipates a potential aging.

The reds are very concentrated, with excellent color, good acidity, elegance and very well balanced. Among the red grapes, the Touriga Franca showed an irreprehensible behavior, benefiting from the fact that it is a grape varietie that coexists well with high temperatures. The Touriga Nacional preserved the floral component, the delicacy and the fineness and the Tinta Roriz comes with a lot of freshness and structure.

Expectations are high!