Climatically, 2004 was atypical throughout most of the agricultural year, with an unusually dry winter being followed by an equally dry and very hot spring. June was exceptionally hot at Vesuvio with virtually no rain to speak of. Rainfall was totally absent during July and there was great concern that excessive hydric stress would irreversibly compromise the quality of the fruit. Fortunately, however, August brought plenty of rain, in fact the highest recorded in the Douro for the month of August in 104 years. From mid September there were 25 days of uninterrupted sunshine, with high temperatures allowing for excellent ripening of the grapes.