Time waits for nobody, and it feels as though every day passes so quickly. Only last week, I felt I was getting back to some routine and my blogs were back to weekly. Whoops!
A little over a week ago, I went to a workshop to learn more about pruning my vines. A couple of years ago I never imagined that I’d even own a vineyard, let alone have to learn how to look after one.
While a few people have given guidance on how to prune my vines, I tend to learn by doing rather than listening or watching. This initial guidance has been incredibly helpful although when the opportunity arose to join a workshop, I jumped at the chance.
The workshop was hosted by a couple who have lived in Portugal and produced their own wine for the last six years. They run a small retreat and organic smallholding, nestled on the side of a small valley.
I was joined by two couples who were great. One couple has owned their vineyard for a year and has been through the whole cycle of growing grapes and making wine. However, as wine-making virgins, they felt it useful to learn more about the process, starting with the pruning.
The other couple has lived in Portugal for several years but following house renovations and other priorities, they are now ready to plant their vineyard.
And I guess I’m somewhere in between. I have a vineyard, but so little knowledge and experience.
After three hours of learning about vines, I feel more confident in the pruning process and was pleased I practised pruning some of their vines, under their careful supervision.
While this workshop only focused on understanding vines and pruning them, there is so much more to learn. Fortunately, there is a series of workshops which I can “pick and choose” which ones I join. Although I anticipate I’ll be joining quite a few!
The rest of the week has been a continuation of tidying, weeding, vegetable bed preparation and lots more small jobs that need to be done.
Next weekend, I’m on another workshop, this time it’s olive trees. So, I am sure I’ll come away with greater confidence in pruning my olive trees. That’s sorted for next week’s work.
Between all this work, I had an appointment which required a little bit of driving. But it also enabled me to take a little time to go for a walk around Pombiera on the banks of the Rio Zêzere.
The last time I was in this area was August 2022, soon after I arrived in Portugal. At that time, the water level was worryingly low (as were all rivers in Portugal due to the heatwave) although it was pleasing to see the river back to what I presume is the “normal” level.
Either way, the views are stunning.
Finally, I became aware of the Rali Cortiçada (Cork Rally) which takes in two stages starting from Proença-a-Nova and managed to get to one of the hairpins.
The Rali Cortiçada appears to be part of a series of rallies in Portugal. I believe all the drivers are amateurs, although they didn’t hold back and a few pushed themselves a little too far on the hairpin I was at.
The first car in the historic category was a VW Beetle. White, with a distinctive red and blue stripe over the bonnet, roof and boot. The only thing that was missing was the number 53! The historic rally included numerous Ford Escort MKI and MKII as well as an XR3i, a Porsche 911, Toyota Celica and several Citroens, BMWs and Lancias.
Within the Sport Plus category, there were Mitsubishi Evos, Peugeot 205, 208 and 309 and a Renault Clio Sport, amongst others.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve watched a little bit of rallying live, but I hope to add the XI Historic Rally Vila da Sertã (1 April 2023) and the WRC Rally of Portugal (11-14 May 2023) to my list later this year. Oh, and a little bit of Soapbox Racing too.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you will continue to join me as I continue my adventure in Portugal. It is certainly going to be a busy, fun, challenging and exciting time.
Thank you, your continued support is much appreciated, and I am grateful for your interest in my adventure!
Melhores cumprimentos. Até logo.