2015 Harvest

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uncle tom
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by uncle tom » 05:37 Tue 15 Sep 2015

Last year a promising vintage was severely damaged when the weather broke after barely a third of the grapes were harvested.

If today's rain is anywhere near as bad as forecast, the weather this year will have broken three days earlier, with probably less of an even more promising vintage safely gathered.

This is not the norm of the last two centuries, but a once in a decade tragic scenario that has now struck two years running..
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

Glenn E.
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Glenn E. » 22:29 Wed 16 Sep 2015

Posted on Facebook:
GRAHAM's Port Wine wrote:The arrival of tropical storm "Henri" yesterday morning has made September the wettest month of the year at Quinta dos Malvedos. Due to the abundant rainfall (54.8mm) picking had to be called off for the day. The rain was followed by strong overnight winds which rapidly dried the grapes and with dry, sunny conditions forecast for the next few days, the vintage is back on track.
Glenn Elliott

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DRT
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by DRT » 11:39 Thu 17 Sep 2015

Posted on Facebook 2 hours ago...
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.37.17.png
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.37.17.png (349.22 KiB) Viewed 2710 times
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 14:19 Thu 17 Sep 2015

Translation: basically we're screwed for grapes not already picked. Seems many people are doing the same. 2014 all over again???


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jdaw1
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by jdaw1 » 16:52 Thu 17 Sep 2015

It’s only mid-Sept. Could the grapes dry sufficiently by wind and heat for a good harvest to resume? I vaguely recall a previous harvest split by rain—can somebody recall the exact year?

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by DRT » 16:55 Thu 17 Sep 2015

jdaw1 wrote:It’s only mid-Sept. Could the grapes dry sufficiently by wind and heat for a good harvest to resume?
I think that is exactly what Qscar has said in his FB post.

Rain during the harvest is certainly not unusual. The problems come from what happens when the rain stops.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
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jdaw1
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by jdaw1 » 16:56 Thu 17 Sep 2015

If they don’t rot, there’s enough time for an excellent result. If they rot, well, <expletive suppressed>, they’ve rotted.

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by DRT » 16:58 Thu 17 Sep 2015

jdaw1 wrote:If they don’t rot, there’s enough time for an excellent result. If they rot, well, <expletive suppressed>, they’ve rotted.
Precisely.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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jdaw1
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by jdaw1 » 17:02 Thu 17 Sep 2015

Has the IVDP yet banned these?
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PhilW
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by PhilW » 18:38 Thu 17 Sep 2015

Would it be financially viable to use helicopters over the vineyards to blow the rain off the grapes asap? It might likely be too peaky demand to make it worthwhile for the service provider also.

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 18:41 Thu 17 Sep 2015

DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:It’s only mid-Sept. Could the grapes dry sufficiently by wind and heat for a good harvest to resume?
I think that is exactly what Qscar has said in his FB post.

Rain during the harvest is certainly not unusual. The problems come from what happens when the rain stops.
And usually it's a light rain not 2" in one day.


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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 18:44 Thu 17 Sep 2015

PhilW wrote:Would it be financially viable to use helicopters over the vineyards to blow the rain off the grapes asap? It might likely be too peaky demand to make it worthwhile for the service provider also.
Helicopters are exceedingly expensive. And in the steep douro hillsides, very very dangerous as well. That coming from my 10+ years experience working/flying in my departments helicopter section.


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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by DRT » 18:49 Thu 17 Sep 2015

Andy Velebil wrote:
PhilW wrote:Would it be financially viable to use helicopters over the vineyards to blow the rain off the grapes asap? It might likely be too peaky demand to make it worthwhile for the service provider also.
Helicopters are exceedingly expensive. And in the steep douro hillsides, very very dangerous as well. That coming from my 10+ years experience working/flying in my departments helicopter section.


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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 18:51 Thu 17 Sep 2015

DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:It’s only mid-Sept. Could the grapes dry sufficiently by wind and heat for a good harvest to resume?
I think that is exactly what Qscar has said in his FB post.

Rain during the harvest is certainly not unusual. The problems come from what happens when the rain stops.
The other issue, and a potential major one, is if the grapes are already at the perfect maturation and ready to harvest. A large rain fall will cause the berries to rapidly absorb water, swell, and then break the skins open. As well as diluting the berry and ruining said perfect maturation. If the berries aren't in a good spot, then the extra water that has time to continue to mature and balance out with subsequent good weather then all is well.

The big issue is, from reports I've read, it seems as though most things were already reaching or had reached that perfect maturation and things were looking outstanding for a perfect harvest. Rain of this magnitude isn't a good thing as there is a high likelihood the berries will never end up as good as they were before the rain. Of course, in the Douro this can be minimized of magnified depending on location as there are so many micro-climates.

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 18:52 Thu 17 Sep 2015

DRT wrote:
Andy Velebil wrote:
PhilW wrote:Would it be financially viable to use helicopters over the vineyards to blow the rain off the grapes asap? It might likely be too peaky demand to make it worthwhile for the service provider also.
Helicopters are exceedingly expensive. And in the steep douro hillsides, very very dangerous as well. That coming from my 10+ years experience working/flying in my departments helicopter section.


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Thanks for the translation :lol:

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jdaw1
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by jdaw1 » 18:54 Thu 17 Sep 2015

PhilW wrote:likely be too peaky demand to make it worthwhile for the service provider also.
If only a major Port producer had a hotel full of rich guests who could pay to ride at the same time.

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by PhilW » 19:00 Thu 17 Sep 2015

jdaw1 wrote:If only a major Port producer had a hotel full of rich guests who could pay to ride at the same time.
I'm sure there would be strong demand for flights up and down the Douro - in the rain. Maybe combine it with flying lessons?

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 19:05 Thu 17 Sep 2015

PhilW wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:If only a major Port producer had a hotel full of rich guests who could pay to ride at the same time.
I'm sure there would be strong demand for flights up and down the Douro - in the rain. Maybe combine it with flying lessons?
and at night...

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DRT
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by DRT » 19:10 Thu 17 Sep 2015

Andy Velebil wrote:
DRT wrote:
jdaw1 wrote:It’s only mid-Sept. Could the grapes dry sufficiently by wind and heat for a good harvest to resume?
I think that is exactly what Qscar has said in his FB post.

Rain during the harvest is certainly not unusual. The problems come from what happens when the rain stops.
The other issue, and a potential major one, is if the grapes are already at the perfect maturation and ready to harvest. A large rain fall will cause the berries to rapidly absorb water, swell, and then break the skins open. As well as diluting the berry and ruining said perfect maturation. If the berries aren't in a good spot, then the extra water that has time to continue to mature and balance out with subsequent good weather then all is well.

The big issue is, from reports I've read, it seems as though most things were already reaching or had reached that perfect maturation and things were looking outstanding for a perfect harvest. Rain of this magnitude isn't a good thing as there is a high likelihood the berries will never end up as good as they were before the rain. Of course, in the Douro this can be minimized of magnified depending on location as there are so many micro-climates.
I think this is going to come down to how much of the good stuff was already harvested before the rain fell. The harvest started very early and I know of at least some shippers who were all but finished processing their best vintage quality grapes a week ago. If that is a widespread pattern it might still be a good year for VP but a bad year for quantity.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Andy Velebil » 19:12 Thu 17 Sep 2015

DRT wrote:I think this is going to come down to how much of the good stuff was already harvested before the rain fell. The harvest started very early and I know of at least some shippers who were all but finished processing their best vintage quality grapes a week ago. If that is a widespread pattern it might still be a good year for VP but a bad year for quantity.
Precisely, I would think those in the east would be less affected than those in the west part of the Douro. As the later are typically a bit behind ripening due to the cooler weather they get.

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uncle tom
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by uncle tom » 20:26 Thu 17 Sep 2015

I think this is going to come down to how much of the good stuff was already harvested before the rain fell. The harvest started very early and I know of at least some shippers who were all but finished processing their best vintage quality grapes a week ago. If that is a widespread pattern it might still be a good year for VP but a bad year for quantity.
I can see a scenario emerging where some producers are in a position to declare excellent VPs in two years time but many are not. If that looks likely to be the case, I would hope that talk of a 2015 declaration is put on hold until 2016 is a known entity. Better that a declared year is one that that all can sign up to..
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

Glenn E.
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Glenn E. » 20:30 Thu 17 Sep 2015

uncle tom wrote:
I think this is going to come down to how much of the good stuff was already harvested before the rain fell. The harvest started very early and I know of at least some shippers who were all but finished processing their best vintage quality grapes a week ago. If that is a widespread pattern it might still be a good year for VP but a bad year for quantity.
I can see a scenario emerging where some producers are in a position to declare excellent VPs in two years time but many are not. If that looks likely to be the case, I would hope that talk of a 2015 declaration is put on hold until 2016 is a known entity. Better that a declared year is one that that all can sign up to..
I wonder how many producers - and which - might be able to declare 2014 similarly? It would be interesting if 2014 and 2015 turned out to be a "split" declaration due to weather, though I suspect that anyone able to declare would be able to do so both years due to their location.

I'm still hoping for a 2014 Graham's Stone Terraces because we visted there on the Harvest Tour. Dominic told us that the Stone Terraces were completely harvested before the rain came, so as long as the Port turns out as good as they thought it might we could get a super cuvee declaration. Though that will probably also depend on how they want to use that super cuvee, brand-wise.
Glenn Elliott

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DRT
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by DRT » 20:32 Thu 17 Sep 2015

uncle tom wrote:
I think this is going to come down to how much of the good stuff was already harvested before the rain fell. The harvest started very early and I know of at least some shippers who were all but finished processing their best vintage quality grapes a week ago. If that is a widespread pattern it might still be a good year for VP but a bad year for quantity.
I can see a scenario emerging where some producers are in a position to declare excellent VPs in two years time but many are not. If that looks likely to be the case, I would hope that talk of a 2015 declaration is put on hold until 2016 is a known entity. Better that a declared year is one that that all can sign up to..
I completely disagree with this, Tom. The Douro is not Communist. If shippers have excellent juice to ship they should ship it, not wait for some sort of collective agreement.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

Glenn E.
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by Glenn E. » 20:40 Thu 17 Sep 2015

DRT wrote:If shippers have excellent juice to ship they should ship it, not wait for some sort of collective agreement.
+1
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uncle tom
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Re: 2015 Harvest

Post by uncle tom » 20:40 Thu 17 Sep 2015

I completely disagree with this, Tom. The Douro is not Communist. If shippers have excellent juice to ship they should ship it, not wait for some sort of collective agreement.
There's nothing communist about this. The port trade works best when there is constructive cooperation between the producers, the recognition of which gave rise to the concept of the 'declared year'. Competition and rivalry delivers the best results when the participants compete on a level playing field. Petty point scoring when one company gets lucky with the weather or another doesn't is ultimately destructive.
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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