2014 Harvest – Portuguese Port Varietal Focus Group

Contact J.D. Phelps:  jd.phelps@gmail.com or 916 295-9121.

Yeah, yeah – it’s only February but it’s never too early to think about the wines you’re hoping to make in the next harvest.

SHW Co-Vice President J.D. Phelps has volunteered to lead a members-only Port wine style varietal focus group with Portuguese varietal grapes from Shaker Ridge Vineyard in El Dorado.

The vineyard’s owners, Andy and Elizabeth Standeven are the recipients of SHW’s inaugural Community Partner Award (2013) for their commitment to SHW’s mission in educating home winemakers and viticulturists.  The Standevens worked closely with a 2011 Port varietal focus group, and in 2013, generously shared their resources with SHW’s beginning winemakers Primitivo varietal focus group.

In addition to primitivo, barbera, tempranillo and touriga national, Shaker Ridge Vineyard cultivates a specific plot (called Quinta) with five Portuguese varietals commonly used in making Portuguese port: souzao, tempranillo, touriga national, tinta cao, and tinta amarela.  Quinta’s grapes, blend of all five varietals, are sold by shares; 12 in all.  Each share yields from 200-300 pounds of grapes and is priced at $189 share (no adjustments made for the actual quantity harvested).  Please see the Shaker Ridge Vineyard web site for more details.

For participation in this varietal focus group, the commitment is at least one share of Quinta.  The group’s participants will be mentored by experienced port winemakers with focus on port styles, Pearson’s Square, adding fortifier, and other steps unique to making port.

If you’ve wanted to make port from quality Portuguese varietal grapes, this may be the project for you.  Perhaps the quantity is more than you had in mind?  Split a share with your wine making friends after you get the grapes home.  Please note that only whole shares can be purchased.

Contact J.D. for more details on this varietal focus group.

Photos of SHW varietal focus groups at Shaker Ridge Vineyards can be found on Sacramento Home Winemakers facebook page.