Client Self-Commissioned Event Wine Harvesting Location Peso da Régua, Vila Real Date September 2012
Portugal is famous for its wines, which are among the best in the world. September is grape harvesting season, a ritual that dates back for centuries. Carrying baskets full of grapes under the high temperatures of the last summer days, friends, family and neighbours, all gathered against the backdrop of one of the most striking landscapes in the country.
After the harvest is done, the grapes are put in large stone tanks called “lagares” where the workers use their feet to squash them to release the liquid that will eventually produce wine. Putting their hands on each other’s shoulders they tread the grapes at the rhythm of a song to the accompaniment of bass drums, accordions and guitars.
Nowadays, less and less producers use the traditional techniques, substituted by mechanical wine presses. However, there are a few who keep this tradition alive, honouring the legacy left by their ancestors by recreating the old ambience of the grape harvest.