The winery at Vargellas combines both traditional and technically advanced features. As on the other Taylor Fladgate estates, the Ports produced on the property continue to be made in the traditional way by foot treading in the winery’s granite lagares or treading tanks. Although labour intensive and costly, research carried out by the company shows that this method continues to have a clear quality advantage over mechanical systems.
Although traditional foot treading continues to be used to make the wine from Taylor Fladgate’s own vineyards, which includes all of the firm’s Vintage Ports, it is not feasible - given the very high cost and the amount of manpower that this would entail - to process the grapes from the company’s partner grape suppliers in this way. It was in the research and development winery at Vargellas, adjacent to the lagares, that David Guimaraens and his team developed the innovative new fermentation tanks which now equip the Nogueira winery where the produce of Taylor Fladgate’s partner grape growers is made into Port.
These new tanks and their innovative asymmetric maceration system ensure that the very high quality grapes delivered by Taylor Fladgate’s partners grape suppliers deliver their full potential, ensuring that wines such as Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve represent superb quality and value for money. The prototypes for these tanks can still be seen in the Vargellas winery where they were originally tested and trialled before the final enhanced version was manufactured and installed at Nogueira.