Ampara

Ampara

After the pruning, the first sprouts start coming up and then the flower and the pollination and, in the end, the fruit is born in the beginning of May.

At this stage, the works on the vineyard are called “ampara” the conduction and pruning of the new branches that are essential to a balanced vine, to receive light, to control its strength and levels of productivity and to provide adequate conditions for grape maturation.

According to regional terminology, the “ampara” is orienting and securing the new branches with wicker or rushes to the simple or double wiring that is immediately above the conducting wire. It is extremely important that this operation is executed at the right time and as soon as possible, because the growth is very fast at this stage.

Note:  According to a time sequence, the following interventions in the vine and production are usually considered: removal of water shoots, vegetation orientation, nipping, removing of outer leaves (when needed) and thinning of bunches (when needed).

Douro “warriors”

Douro “warriors”

In 2014, with 92 years of age, she made her last grape harvest at Quinta do Espinho.

Camila was not only a woman who was born, grew up and lived, worked and died in Douro.

She learnt working the vine with her parents, who had learnt it with their parents and those with the previous generation. These men and women work the whole year towards the harvest moment. They live of the land and for the land.

Still today, the wine produced in this land needs man labour. This praise to all “warriors”, embodied by Camila, is to us a synonym of a great respect and appreciation for the Douro people.

Douro’s oldest vines (1750), planted in traditional terraces supported by stone walls, were built by hand by the Douro “warriors”. Centuries of hard work in extreme climate conditions do not come as little to anyone.

With one of the most distinctive terroirs of the wine culture history, these terraces provide for one of the most fantastic landscapes in the world.

Note:  The vine demands an eleven-month work period per year, during the whole flowering cycle of the vine (from December to October).