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Published on May 4th, 2020 | by Alastair Gilmour

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No feet first for vintage port harvest

Photo credit: kobrandwineandspirits.com
If you think social distancing is a worry for our pubs, spare a thought for the Portugal’s prime drinks industry. Adrian Bridge, chief executive officer of The Fladgate Partnership which produces Taylor’s Vintage Port at its Vargellas Winery, is concerned that the age-old tradition of foot-treading grapes in lagares (open, wide containers used for crushing the fruit) could be replaced by mechanical means “for the safety of our workers”.

He said that an absence of foot-treading for this year’s harvest could ensure that Taylor’s won’t be able to make a classic vintage Port. “I believe that treading the grapes adds an extra 1.5-2.0% to the quality (of the wine), so the fact that I think there will be no foot-treading because of physical distancing means that there probably won’t be a classic vintage declaration for 2020.

“One of the factors we regard as important for quality won’t be happening.”


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Alastair Gilmour



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