It has become apparent that harvest is actually upon us. I`ve always loved the quote from Leonard Bernstein in my context of harvest : “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time”
Harvest has always been that –having a plan and in most cases not quite enough time. Luckily if you are a viticulturist or winemaker in South Africa by this time you will have your game face on.
At this stage a word from Heinie our viticulturist will get you on track as to what has been going on this season leading up to harvest:
“Our rainfall during the previous year (2011) was 537mm and this year (2012) we’ve had 727 mm. That means that we started off with good soil moisture and enough water for the season.
Then our version of “Hurricane Sandy” struck at the 28th of November until the 30th of November. We had wind speeds up to 110 km/h, and an average of 65 km/h. Many of the shoots and leaves were lost and damaged. The vineyards struggled to recover. Then straight after that, from the 10th till the 19th December we had maximum temperatures of between 39°C and 42°C. Luckily there was no notable sunburn damage. Then the season shifted in our favor. The second half of December and the first two weeks of January was cool and perfect for veraison.
Currently, everything is looking really good and we are about two weeks away from harvesting the Steen for the Cap Classique. The rest of the cultivars could be about 10 days later than normal except for Pinotage and Viognier which could be about 5-6 days earlier.”
We will be taking some samples on Friday as we need to harvest our Chenin Blanc for our Steen MCC soon. Will keep you posted.