Hi everyone, I'll start by Alex who was the first to post questions!
I've tried to sum up the answers. Here they go!
1- When I arrived from Bordeaux in 1976 there was a group of some curious vine-growing man that were worried about the loss of knowledge of quality of each variety.
After the two wars the knowledge of those 80 different varieties had been lost. The Douro Region had been isolated and the evolution was completed stagnated. This group knew, however, that I've been working in microvinification at St. Caprais with Jean Riberau Gayon, Ives Gloryie and some other professors, and they proposed me to study the Douro varieties.
José Rosas, my boss at Ramos Pinto and member of the OIV, was also very concerned about this subject. He wanted to plant the new Quinta named Ervamoira in a modern way knowing exactly what he was planting. With these two big purposes I decided to accept this challenge.
Moreover for me was very strange to understand how they used to plant everything mixed in the vineyard. To me the final result could be either good or bad. With my experiences along this last 34 years in Douro I still think the same. I can either find very good mixed vines and very bad ones. As the vineyards are planted for 30 - 40 years can you imagine the problem if we weren't happy with the result?
As I came from Bordeaux University and as I had a father that made the first Douro wine (Barca Velha), I had the curiosity and will to explore this area.
Therefore, my decision was to study the varieties for Port and also for Douro wine, which was why we decided to plant 4 different experimental fields in the three sub-regions taking into account also the different altitudes.
The group of people that I've mentioned above selected me twelve varieties.
In 1981, we presented at the local University (Vila Real) a study presenting our selection for Port and Douro wines based on five red grape varieties, namely, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, and three white grape varieties - viozinho, rabigato and arinto.
We also argued that it was necessary to study more varieties due to many existing varieties in Douro Region. The ones that have been chosen were suggested to be used in the plantations that were financed by the World Bank at the time.
2 - We made single varietal Ports as an experimental basis in 1983 but the idea was only to get to know the varieties and their ageing process. We don't sell them, we only use them to study their evolution. To me the culture and terroir of Douro Region is a blend. The Region itself is not flat at all. In fact it's dramatically hilly and the microclimate is always changing. So to produce a wine we have to pick already a blend and the ageing process keeps going as a blend, this applies both to Port and to Douro wine. During that process there's a huge human intervention to pass to the wines our personality.
3 - I am not expecting to make single varietal Port wines to sell them. That doesn't express the Terroir and also the IVDP regulation doesn't allow it, which I totally agree. However I've some wines that I will gladly show and discuss them with those who are interested in special tastings to be organized.
Nevertheless, I am sure that we would have plenty to say about these matters on further conversations.