One of the principal components of Pombal do Vesuvio comes from the terraced vineyards that surround the ancient dovecote (‘pombal’ in Portuguese) planted primarily with Touriga Nacional during 2000 in the heart of this legendary Douro property. Touriga Franca from the Vale da Teja and Minas vineyards is the other significant contributor to the Pombal, along with a smaller contribution from the Tinta Amarela from the Quinta Nova vineyard.
Winter and early spring rainfall was roughly in line with the average, but higher-thanaverage temperatures brought forward the vegetative cycle by three weeks. If overall rainfall levels were reassuring, the temperatures were far from it: every month apart from April was considerably warmer than the 30-year mean. With virtually no rain in June or July, we were relieved to have 12.6 mm falling on 20th August, although the rain was followed by three heat waves lasting until mid-September. With the heat diminishing the benefit of the rainwater – and faced with the possibility of berry dehydration – we began picking our white grapes from the 25th August. These were in surprisingly good condition (given the summer drought), allowing us to make some very good wines. Production was down by 40% in some properties, but the lower yields were compensated by overall good quality.
The quinta of all quintas – one of the wonders of the world