For some years now we have watched a group of kayakers pass by Quinta dos Malvedos during harvest. This year they stopped and came to visit.
Raul had hosted the group to a tasting at the Graham’s Lodge just a few days earlier, after which they travelled out to the far end of the Douro at the Spanish border and began their kayak journey down river in easy stages. Today, they started at the Valeira Dam, and after coming through the lock, paddled down river and landed at Quinta dos Malvedos.
At the house, Raul was waiting to greet them once again and together with trip leader Olaf Malver of Explorer’s Corner hosted a lunch of traditional bacalhau with potatoes and cream, serving Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny with the cheese afterwards. The visitors, mostly Americans, and most of whom had never before visited the region, were fascinated by the terraced vineyard landscape and asked many questions of Raul and the blogger about the wines, the region, the house and the vineyards.
Olaf, commenting on Raul’s startling blue eyes, said he must be Danish as well as Portuguese and proceeded to salute him with a table and chest thumping clap, whoop and holler. If he wasnt Danish before, Raul has been inducted now!
While the winery team carried on business as usual, receiving grapes and beginning the treading on our second lagar while Henry was keeping up with the paperwork, Raul showed our visitors over the winery, explained the unique processes for making port and talked them through the vineyard map and picking.
The group left by car, trailering their kayaks to Pinhão, from which they will leave tomorrow to kayak on to Regua. We look forward to seeing them again next year!