Ramos Pinto Vintage Ports are prepared in their winery at Quinta do Bom Retiro. The case of LBV and Vintage, the grapes are trodden in the traditional lagar as this age-old technique allows for the juice of the fruit to be extracted more efficiently and not as harshly as mechanical treaders. After the winemaking at Bom Retiro, the wines are transported to the historical wine cellars at Vila Nova de Gaia, where they undergo a long ageing process. Vintage port is a wine from one single harvest, representative of the growth cycle of one single exceptional year. After two years of ageing in oak barrels, it is then bottled for a long life (which can be 40 years or more for a very good vintage). When a Vintage Port is aged it develops a crust, or sediment, and should always be placed upright for a few hours (or a few days if possible) to allow for the sediments to settle at the bottom. Depending on the age of the Port it can then be decanted a few hours before serving. Ramos Pinto 1997 is a Port of complete ripeness, good acidity, tannin and concentration. The growing season consisted of a sunny winter, adverse weather in spring, and favorable, sunny growing conditions in summer. While there were some weather difficulties, Ramos-Pinto fared well. The 1997 vintage will start to reach maturity in 10-15 years. The grape varieties for the wine are Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz.