I was really surprised and sceptical when I heard that many small wine producers in the Douro Valley still crush the grapes by foot. Yes really. If I had not seen them scrubbing out the troughs for myself I would not believe it. Sadly not able to take a photo to prove it.
Whilst I was in the Douro the grape harvest was just getting underway so the producers were flat chat but two of them still found time to talk to me including the amiable winemaker with the bottles in the photos who is the fourth generation producing wine from the family vineyard. And great wine it is too-port and an excellent rose and a white.
I really like Porto -it's an elegant city with a great buzz although an area of the UNESCO world heritage listed old port area leading upto the cathedral is in urgent need of renovation and a really good clean up. It's not just an issue of money as the planning controls on renovations are strict and drawn out to protect the world heritage listing. Also the city authorities are anxious to protect the existing long established residents of the area and to ensure that it does not become over gentrified. They are certainly suceeding on that score. Maybe time for a change of policy folks.
So here are some pictures from the Douro Valley and the good and the ugly parts of Porto and some of the city's friendly residents.
|Fourth generation of the family producing wine from this vineyard high above the Douro|
|First grapes of the harvest|
|Four generations and rightfully proud of it.|
|Porto portside at night.|
|Sandiman's port warehouse,Porto.|
|A riverside nap,Porto.|
|Buskers on the street, Porto.|
|My favourite Porto photo.|
|Alley cats, old Porto.This street is barely 100 metres from the main tourist strip beside the river.|
|Old Porto.Bring on the clean up squad and the builders.Soon.|