Harvest Report 2023


Up until the harvest, 2022 was one of the hottest and driest years on record ( since 1931). However, in November, December and early January 2023 it rained 569 mm in Régua and 277.4 mm in Quinta do Orgal, in the Douro Superior. These figures represent twice as much as it rained during the whole of 2022 in Régua and almost the same at Orgal!
From February to the beginning of August 2023 there was very little rainfall, with two highlights: in April there was very little rainfall compared to normal and temperatures were on average more than 2 degrees above normal; at the end of May and June there were periods of heavy rain, in some cases and places accompanied by hail. These 2 moments in the cycle, combined with the levels of water stored in the soil over the winter, allowed for great vegetative expansion and the development of medium to large bunches. This compensated for the slightly lower than average number of bunches per plant (still a reflection of the very dry year of 2022).
Finally, the harvest began very early, at the beginning of August, and was abundant in all of the Douro's sub-regions.


At Quinta do Vallado - Régua, it rained 776.2mm from November 2022 to the end of September 2023, which compares with 755.4mm for the 30-year average, so it was quite similar (+3%). However, the distribution between the months was quite abnormal, with a high concentration of rain in winter (569mm) and little rain from February to August (143.8mm). However, the rain that did fall in this spring/summer period was concentrated (there were only 34 days with precipitation out of a total of 212 days in the period - 16%) and there were several episodes of hail. In September it rained 63.4 mm, but essentially from the 14th onwards, and in some parts of the Douro there was hail once again
At Orgal in Foz Coa, it rained 565.4mm, which compares with the 489.4mm average for the same period (+16%). It rained a great deal here in winter too, but much less than in Baixo Corgo: 277.4mm. From February to August, it rained 156 mm, also concentrated in a few periods and with episodes of hail, which fortunately did not cause any damage due to the stage of the vine's vegetative cycle. The 132 mm of rain that fell in September, which was quite abnormal compared to the average (32.2 mm), only happened from 15 September onwards and did not cause any significant damage to the quality of the grapes, which had practically all been harvested.
The winter was fairly mild, although February was cold. From March onwards, temperatures began to rise, with a peak in April. This month in mainland Portugal was the 4th warmest since 1931 (3 degrees above average: 17.2º in the Upper Douro) and the maximum temperature was the highest for April since records began. The rest of the summer months were relatively normal, with a heat spike in August that had no impact on the quality and quantity of the grapes.


Against this climatic backdrop, the vine cycle progressed, with special emphasis on the final part, which culminated in the earliest ever harvest - 8th of August at Quinta do Vallado. The vineyard suffered several climatic accidents caused by the concentration of rain in certain periods, including hail (which fortunately had little or no effect on our plots), and from June onwards there were conditions for the appearance of mildew and some black-rot. From July onwards, the conditions favoured the appearance of a vine pest - the green leafhopper, which had a strong impact in the Douro Superior, but also in the Cima Corgo. This was not a problem in most of Quinta do Vallado's vineyards, although in the Douro Superior vineyards there was successful containment work. The ripeness of the grapes was completed, resulting in excellent production.


As mentioned above, the harvest began on 8 August in Régua with the Moscatel plots and on 21 August in the Douro Superior with the reds. It was a long harvest, with the aim of always harvesting at the right time and reflecting the way in which each variety and location adapted to the year. The last plot to be harvested was in Régua, a Touriga Nacional, on 27 September.
The quantity of production was exceptional, and the quality was also very good. Overall, although mildew was a challenge, it wasn't a problem in terms of production and there were no widespread scald phenomena either; in the final phase of the harvest, and after the rains, there was a need for some selection in the vineyard, because some bunches, with their skins weakened by the rain, no longer had the optimal quality required. The cycladella manifested itself in the final phase of the cycle in the Douro Superior vineyards, but there was no impact on the quality of the wine.
In terms of production, there was an increase of approximately 52 per cent in the Upper Douro and 43 per cent in Régua (Baixo Corgo) compared to last year.
In 2023, Quinta do Vallado acquired and leased some plots of old vines (approximately 15 ha), and the yields were also good and of excellent quality!


The white wines are excellent, with plenty of fruit and high acidity. The reds (harvested before the heavy rains of 15/9) are also excellent, with good concentration, colour and acidity; they are very balanced and elegant wines.
The Port wines have good colour, lots of fruit and good acidity, so expectations are also very good!

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