Landscape photograph Pool

The beautiful views over the Douro Valley from the A&D pool!

A day in the life of a harvest; A&D Wines, Vinho Verde, Portugal

A&D Wines is our family owned Winery that focus on organic farming we believe in using what the terroir provides us with. Let me show you what a day in the life of a harvest is like with us!

At the main estate Quinta de Santa Teresa you can do a tour of the property, which boasts beautiful romantic gardens, endless lush vineyards and mid – century architecture houses. You also have the opportunity to get a picnic basket that includes a meal made with the fresh produce picked directly from the vegetable garden and go on your own to explore the property.

We highly recommend you visit the Tasting Room at the highest point of the property to try the delicious wines. One of our favourites is the Monólogo Avesso, a mono-varietal wine with the autochthonous grape variety: Avesso. This is a special grape to the A&D team, as it is only found in the Vinho Verde region specifically from the sub-region of Baião.

At the end of your tour you can pop in the wine shop and pick out what your favourite wine of the Day was to take home with you!

Sounds like the perfect day to us….

A day in the life of a harvest:

The day starts early, as the grape containers have to be spread out on the vineyards before the harvesters arrive.

At 7:00AM the harvesters begin to arrive, at 7:30AM the picking begins.

Tractors, vans and staff travel around the vineyard in a bustle of cutting, selecting and transporting boxes to vans that will take them to the winery.

In the cellar, everything was already prepared first thing and they are ready to receive the grapes.

Once arrived and weighed, the grapes are placed on the sorting table where leaves and damaged grapes are removed so that only the perfect grapes follow their path towards the destemmer and the press.

The wine-making team is very active, each one very aware of their role during this hectic day. Starting machines, selecting grapes, measuring must parameters – densities, probable degree, acidity, sugars, washing, sanitation etc. etc…

Halfway through the morning, we stop for breakfast, the cellar does not stop, so each person takes turns to eat.

The press starts but the team knows that they have no rest; they must carry out the transfer of the musts from the previous day, check the progress of the fermentations, filter the must lees, carry out analysis and more analysis…

12:30: the harvesters stop for lunch and take the opportunity to fraternize with songs and jokes.

100+ year old Vine
An Afternoon of Harvest at Quinta de Santa Teresa:


In the cellar, we take turns to have lunch, more grapes have arrived and we must not accumulate at the reception or the night will be even longer.

It’s 3 pm and in the midst of this hustle and bustle, a truck arrives to load pallets destined for the UK.

It is loaded, documents are delivered and it follows its destination.

Musts and unfinished wines are tasted… Wow what a year this one will be!!!

5 pm arrives and it’s the end of the day for the grape harvesters. The vans, full of grapes, are unloaded in the refrigerated chamber, because there is no more space for them today…

The press is loaded again and it’s time to eat a piece of bread with cheese or ham, in the cellar, freshly arrived, piping hot from the local bakery.

Maintenance time, a hose broke, the cooling system needs attention, a pump won’t start…

The situation for the day and the following day is reviewed and, after reserving a table at the local restaurant, the cellar machines are completely washed (sorting table, conveyor belts, stalk remover, pumps and vats) everything has to be sanitized for the next day.

Dinner time while the press works…
End of press and bagasse removal and new washes…
It’s already 2 am, time to rest because the next day starts very early again.

So much work, so much tiredness but so much joy! It is a year of continuous effort from the team, now translated into wines that will “always be better” than previous years, as with each harvest we learn more about this or that detail, which we believe will make a difference…

And these already long harvest days, August 25th to September 26th, will come to an end. .. The last truck with grapes arrives, but what else does it bring? Vine leaves and fantastic bunches to decorate it. It’s time for Manuel, the musician to pull out the Concertina and open the dance floor with his songs. A well-stuffed table and wine from the previous harvest help kickstart the party.

This was a day in the life of a harvest at A&D Wines!

Next year the cycle will repeat itself; until then, we care for this year’s musts so that they become wines and years remembered.


Find more stories and tips in the VIND Journal from Puglia, Porto and Franshhoek!

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