Preceding the subject

Personal presentation

My name is Bruno Rafael Gonçalves Ramos, I am Portuguese, I'm twenty-seven years old and I have a degree in Oenology from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD) since 2010. My experience in the field of oenology includes eleven training periods of harvest in six countries on four continents: Portugal, Argentina, Australia, United States of America, South Africa and France. During my training I performed the monitoring of fermentations and finished wines in the cellar. Each training had duration of three to four months (Figure No. 1).

In addition to this brief presentation, I consider important in the framework of the theme of this thesis, to make myself and my personal path known a little more.

When I was a child, I was used to accompany my grandparents to the farm, located near Setubal where the family had a small farm which involved the production of a wide variety of crops: salads, vegetables, fruits, cattle breeding and pig farming. Since I was six years old I remember helping my grandparents in the harvest, the seeding and obviously, as is natural in "life" in the field, eating the fruit directly from the tree or freshly harvested. I recall with particular joy the flavour then tasted, such as from oranges. Having spent much of my childhood on the farm, I learned a little of the "art of cultivating the fields."

I was taught to see the influence of the moon phases in the plantations, what to feed to each animal, how to identify the ripeness of fruit, and what the ideal time to perform the pruning, how strawberries should be planted, out of many other kinds of knowledge I earned until I was 18 years old. This was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of life I had. A school where teachers, in addition to knowledge, have also expressed their love and respect for nature.

The first memory that binds me to the world of wine arises during the production of home-made wine, when I was 14 years old. I remember reaping the vine grapes with my grandmother, with due care not to hurt me or cut wrongly the grapevine; of helping my grandfather to step on the masses in fermentation for a greater skin extraction; seeing the potential alcohol level than wine would acquire; and also watch my grandfather performing the tests that he was making to the wine on the barrel, until it was ready to be shared with his family and friends.

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