As you all can remember, we were blessed with a long and cold Winter in 2021. A later and longer cold season also relates to a harvest season starting later, with the first budding only in late September.
We enjoyed the highest rainfall in the last 5 years and our dams were full for the first time in a long time, but an abundance of rain also brings about downy- and powdery mildew on the grapes. These fungi caused some serious losses in crop for a lot of the grape producers in the Western Cape.
But finally, the last week of January was upon us, and we could start harvesting our Pinotage, followed by Viognier.
Then we were slapped with a brutal heatwave, with 3 weekends in a row where temperatures hit mid-forties, not fun for anyone that must work outside and deal with the elements. Same for the vines! A few blocks of Pinotage forgot their sun block and got seriously tanned during this period.
Last week we picked our 36-year-old Chenin Blanc vineyard, officially now part of the Old Vine project. I might just have something in my cellar from this block to show you later in the year, but no more of that for now.
The Chenin is looking exceptional this year and the aromas of guava and pear in the cellar is exhilarating. In between we are also picking the Shiraz, destined for our Thokozani SMV and Diemersfontein Shiraz.
Lauren took over the Bordeaux varietals from me last year and she is literally sitting on the edge of her seat waiting for the Cabernet Franc and – Sauvignon to ripen, but she will have to exercise more patients as it seems they might only be ready by the end of this week.
Goodness, some more grapes just arrived at the cellar, so I must run!!