The viticultural year in the Douro Valley began with a very wet spring. In April and May, 249mm of rain fell at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda estate in the Douro Valley, nearly three times the average for the last decade. This rainfall was welcome after the very dry conditions in 2015 and helped restore ground water reserves at Roêda and throughout the Douro Valley. As a result of the cool, wet spring conditions, the ripening season started late. The first colouring of the grapes was observed around 11th July and coincided with the onset of very hot, dry weather which continued until mid-September.
During the ripening season, the weather station at Quinta da Roêda recorded 13 days with temperatures exceeding 40°C. In spite of the heat, owing to abundant ground water reserves and the late cycle, maturation was slow and even. At the end of August, most grapes were far from ripe. In mid-September, a spell of rain helped accelerate and complete the ripening process. In the second half of September and well into October, the weather remained fine, providing ideal harvesting conditions. Low night-time temperatures helped to extend fermentation times and allow for gradual and gentle extraction, a factor which contributed to the elegance and finesse of the 2016 wines and the quality of the tannins. Picking at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda started on 17th September.