2020 vintages: In Dão, less yield, but “fantastic” wines

In Dão, the reality was similar, as the region with a moderate to cold climate the anticipation was even higher, being about 3 weeks.

Benoit Tessier / Reuters

This year's harvests were atypical, due to the intensification of climate change, with rain and heat unnecessary, and consequent attack of pests, to which was added the Covid-19 pandemic. But expectations point to higher quality production, even if there are declines in production in some regions.

Read the balance sheet of dozens of producers from the north to the south of the country, including the Azores and Madeira, and seven presidents of Regional Wine Commissions. And take a look at what's going on in Champagne, with Moët et Chandon.

For those most passionate about the topic, interested in technical issues, Jornal Económico also provides this year's vintage reports from two houses with centuries of tradition in wine production in the Douro, in particular Port wines, with personal testimonies Charles Symington, director of production and vice-CEO of Symington Family Estates, which sells the references Graham's, Dow's, Warre's, Cockburn's, Quinta do Vesúvio, Quinta do Ataíde, Altano, P + S and Quinta da Fonte Souto; and David Guimaraens, director of oenology at The Fladgate Partnership, which markets the brands Taylor's, Fonseca and Croft, among others.

Together, these two houses already represent more than 500 years of producing table and Port wines in the Douro (Fladgate has already celebrated its 430th anniversary, while Symington has more than 130 years of history) and the 2020 vintage reports demonstrate that climate change is increasingly an unavoidable reality in the national wine sector.

Today, we will continue this journey through the 2020 harvests with the testimonies of the wine producers in the Dão region, especially Quinta da Taboadella, belonging to Amorim Family Estates, and Quinta de Lemos.

Tomorrow, it will be our turn to travel to Madeira and the Azores islands, and notice the balance of the collection made this year by producers such as Justino's Madeira Wines, Azores Wine Company (by António Maçanita) or CVIP - Cooperativa Vitivinícola da Ilha do Peak.

In Dão, at Quinta de Taboadella, belonging to Amorim Family Estates, Ana Mota, director of production and viticulture of the house, explains that this year, “as a region with a moderate to cold climate, the anticipation was even higher, being about three weeks” .

The official underlines that, “at Dão, quality also seems to be guaranteed, musts have sugar levels between 12,5 and 13,5, with very pure varietal aromas, with fresh and vibrant acidity, with a pH of around 3,2, 3,4 for white musts and XNUMX for red musts ”.

At Quinta de Lemos, in the Silgueiros region, the winemaker Hugo Chaves, points out that “the 2020 wine campaign took place in a very unstable way, starting in March, when Dão had a very strong frost, which led to a production breakdown in the lower areas of vines ”.

“Later, at the time of flowering, in June, we had a great pressure caused by mildew, which, at Quinta de Lemos, resulted in a great pressure on the plot of biodynamic vines, of ten hectares. Here, the production drop was 60% ”, laments Hugo Chaves.

According to this official, “in conventional culture, everything went smoothly: there was less yield, with a lower than usual berry, and the harvests went well”.

"We will certainly have fantastic wines, such as Tinta Roriz or Touriga Nacional, which are very aromatic, clean, dense and complex", predicts Hugo Chaves, arguing that "2020 is a great year of wines, with smaller but high quality productions".

For the winemaker of this producer from Dão, "five years from now, as is the habit of all wines in Quinta de Lemos, we will be able to taste great wines".

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