The winter of 1994/5 brought good rainfall to Vesuvio. However March and April were surprisingly warm. This encouraged very early leaf growth, budding and eventual flowering. By early August the old vineyards were some two weeks ahead of their normal level of maturation. By the end of the month, which had been very hot, the grapes looked in excellent condition, with the slight “wrinkling” that demonstrates to a Port producer that the juice is very concentrated and rich. Picking started on the 4th September, some 14 days earlier than average. A little rain had softened the skins allowing for easier colour extraction.