The grapes to produce Port Vintage 1996 Barros were destemmed, crushed and macerated on the skins in order to obtain the necessary richness, body and fruitiness needed for a vintage Port. The Port Vintage 1996 Barros fermentation took place in ‘lagares’ and vats with constant pump overs during the vinification. Temperatures were controlled and maintained at between 28 to 30°C, until the desired Baumé was reached. At this stage, grape brandy was added, which is known as the ‘benefit’, resulting in a naturally sweet, fortified wine of exceptional quality. Bottled between the second and third year after the harvest.
The vines are grown on terraces cut into the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley; they are planted along the terraces of the greatest slopes, the “Vinha ao Alto”, which translates as “vertically planted vines”. The vineyard soils are schist greywacke ante-Ordovician, with some granitic formations. This soil is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. Traditionally, the vines in the region are grown low, close to the ground. The single or double Guyot and unilateral and bilateral cordons are the methods most frequently used for training the vines. The grapes are manually harvested at optimum maturity.
Barros celebrated their 100th year of trading in 2013, Barros Port is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious companies producing and trading in Port. Much of their success comes from Colheita Ports – old Tawnies from a single year matured in cask for a minimum period of seven years. Their expertise in Colheita Ports has established them as the stand out producer of this style. They leaves their Colheita Ports to mature in cask until being hand bottled to order. The loss of wine from evaporation (known as the ‘Angel’s Share’) is much higher in comparison to bottle ageing. It is a sacrifice they are willing to make and one that helps them achieve unsurpassed quality in their Colheita wines. In June 2006, they were integrated into the Sogevinus Group who are growing the brand in international markets.