The Harvest Season commences on the final days of August when the first kilos of Tinta Negra grapes are harvested and ends in the second week of October with the picking of the Sercial.
Our company acquires the Tinta Negra grapes from Estreito de Câmara de Lobos (South Coast of the island) and São Vicente (North Coast). The Sercial grapes come mainly from Jardim da Serra and São Jorge while the Verdelho are bought in Prazeres, Raposeira and São Vicente. The Boal cast is obtained in Prazeres, Estreito da Calheta, Campanário and São Vicente while the Malvasia comes from São Jorge.
In 2006 Barbeito bought nearly 300 tons of the various grapes, from 135 different grape-growers around the island.
Harvest season is the culmination of a painstaking process that starts 7 months earlier.
In February, when pruning is initiated, we begin to visit the most important grape-growers. These visits continue along the following months so that we can accompany the growth of the vines and transmit our ideas to the grape-growers. In the 2 months that precede harvest we intensify our visits to the vineyards so that we can accompany up close the ripening and evolution of the grapes.
In some parts of the island, namely São Vicente and São Jorge, this undertaking is also done by our agents. They are in direct contact with the grape-growers on a regular basis. Agents are very important helping us in the advising work and helping farmers to produce the best quality grapes.
A very close relationship between our family and our agents date back when our company was founded. Some of them, like us, belong already to the 3rd generation which is the case of Mr. José Carlos Oliveira, from São Vicente, whose grandfather was our first agent in 1948.
To us quality is above all else, which is why grapes are crushed on the same day that they are picked. Most of the time, this implicates working overtime.
The grape-growers wait for us to verify the maturity of the grapes before they harvest them. In holding true to our company's motto, distances are not considered a barrier for us as we visit various vineyards situated on different points of the island on the same day.
Harvest season is a very special time for Vinhos Barbeito. It is the testimony of a long work, shared alongside the grape-growers and their dedicated labour. We excel in obtaining the best grapes to make the best wines. For this reason we pay for grapes in accordance to their quality, which in turn is always an incentive for the grape-growers to produce the best quality grapes.
Harvest season also brings to mind the memory of those grape-growers long departed, who left there mark on a process initiated more than 15 years ago. This is the case of the Afonso family from Estreito de Câmara de Lobos or the family of Mr. João dos Reis from Campanário. Their descendants perpetuate their work with the same care and dedication as their parents before them. We take pride in the fact that this special bond between these families and ourselves has been passed down through generations.
In 2006 we harvested the famous Malvasia from Fajã dos Padres. Being there with the Jardim Fernandes' family, tasting their wines and strengthening this special and long friendship was an unforgettable experience.
Our biggest grape supplier owns his vineyards in São Vicente. Mr. Agostinho Andrade Júnior is very special to us. His most important goal is to produce the best quality of Tinta Negra and Verdelho grapes. When harvest season arrives, his emigrant sons arrive to help. This ritual repeats itself every year at harvest time.
We pay tribute to all of those who work with us during harvest season by featuring some photos where you can see that there is no set age for harvesting the grapes. This is hard work that requires great human effort.