Vinification – Ageing – Blending of our Ports
SELECTION OF NOBLE GRAPE VARIETIES FROM THE DOURO : TOURIGA NACIONAL, TOURIGA FRANCA, TINTA RORIZ, TINTO CÃO, SOUSÃO
crushing > must > fermentation crushing > interruption of fermentation through the addition of grape spirit
OLD TAWNY PORTS
c. 2 years
over 4 years
average of 10, 20 or 40 years
minimum of 10 years
Treading in Lagares
This method of vinification, which could appear primitive, remains the best way to make great Port. During the vinification of Port, the time of fermentation and maceration is short. Treading by foot in lagares enables an optimal extraction of the colours and tannins in the skins of the grapes in a short space of time.
We developed a robotic treader for use in our ancient stone lagares in 1994 which we use as a complement to human treading, essentially for treading in the cap when it is sometimes necessary during the night.
A grape spirit of the finest quality of 77 % alcohol is used to stop the fermentation. This represents about 20% of the volume of the final wine. The grapes spirit is added slowly and with great precision to the must as it runs off from the lagares in order to obtain a perfect integration of the grape spirit and the wine, so that they combine together in perfect harmony.
THE ART OF BLENDING
Blending is the art of combining three dimensions:
- the vintage years
- the different parcels
- the grape varieties
which when added together give more than the sum of all 3.
The palette of wines available for blending for the different styles of Port are the subject of meticulous long term management. Old Tawny Ports are by their nature made from lots of wine often transmitted from generation to generation.
António Agrellos, the Technical Director of Quinta do Noval has the experience, the nose, a taste memory and a tasting ability out of the ordinary, as well as the something extra that is indefinable that makes him one of the great Port wine blenders.