Terra Do Rio 'Touriga Nacional' 2019 (RRP $30 WM $23.90)
The most recognised and widely planted Portuguese grape variety in Australia, Touriga Nacional has the reputation of making wines of quality. A versatile grape variety, it can be used to make red, rosé and fortified wines.
Grown on a single cordon wire, the vines that grew the grapes that made this wine were hand pruned and hand-picked. Once harvested, the grapes are placed in a cool room prior to being delivered to the winery.
Touriga Nacional is a moderate yielding grape variety. Bunches and berries tend to be smaller than a number of other Portuguese varieties. Despite the moderate yields, the vineyard responsible for growing the grapes is crop thinned to ensure the desired quality is achieved.
The farming practices adopted in the Portuguese Paddock (the name of the vineyard that is the home of Terra do Rio) are sustainable. The use of drought tolerant rootstocks assists in limiting the amount of water needed for irrigation. Preventing fungal diseases is achieved via the application of sulphur. Mechanical methods, such as under vine knifing and midrow slashing are employed to manage weeds, and the planting of native pine trees on the boundary of the vineyard has occurred to isolate the Portuguese Paddock from neighbouring vineyards that use commercial farming practices (prevents spray drift).
The natural yeast found in the vineyard and winery fermented this wine. Old oak barrels are used to store the wine for fourteen months.
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