The Fladgate Port Harvest press trip took place this year
from 16-18 September and saw journalists, Tom Cannavan, David Kermode and
Phoebe French join us for a visit to Porto and the Douro Valley.
Day 1 kicked off with glorious sunshine as we travelled up
to Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas. The first port of call was a boat trip down
the Douro, white Port and tonic in hand.
After a delicious dinner (almond soup being my personal
highlight and, no, we weren’t allowed to know the secret recipe!) we all donned
our treading togs and followed the sounds of laughing and singing down to the
lagar to help with treading the grapes.
On the second day, we headed to Croft’s Quinta da Roêda
where we were met by legendary Chief Winemaker, David Guimaraens, who talked to
us about sustainability in viticulture, grape growing and the art of blending.
This was followed by a stroll in the vineyards, and David
explaining all of the techniques employed to aid sustainable grape growing.
After a morning of intensive learning, we headed to
Fonseca’s Quinta do Panascal for lunch and then a ride back through the valley
to Porto for an overnight stay at the luxurious Yeatman hotel. After an evening
aperitif looking out over the city of Porto, it was time for dinner and bed.
The following day saw breakfast with Adrian Bridge, CEO of
the Fladgate Partnership before a whirlwind tour of the World of Wine,
currently under construction and planned for completion in 2020.
The final stop on the trip was the Taylor’s visitor centre
and a tasting of the range before it was time for us to head home!