HARVEST REPORT 2019: FROM THE WINEMAKER’S MOUTH
I am not here to dictate to Mother Nature, nor will I ever complain about what she gives. She sets the rules, we adjust. But having only just seen the back of a three-year drought (our worst yet), I will say that we’ve become well acquainted with this Mother’s more demanding side. And in the process, proven that listening to her cries and demands is a pretty good idea – and the key to an excellent harvest.
The dry, warm conditions that dominated the 2018 harvest season persisted into the post-harvest period, which had a positive effect on leaf drop and the accumulation of essential reserves. Then came the winter – a real Cape winter with a decent amount of cold and rainy days. The long-awaited good rainfall meant that we could expect the 2019 grape crop to return to normal levels, and we could all return to showering daily!
The size and quality of the 2019 grape crop was further influenced by the vineyards’ ability to recover from the drought, as well as the weather conditions in the flowering period leading up to harvest. Spring set in earlier, and the vines initially started to bud earlier than normal. But September had some more demands in store, with temperature fluctuations delaying vine growth, and in certain cultivars leading to late and uneven bud burst. More rain called for meticulous canopy and fungal disease management. Eventually September relented, temperatures rose again, and the vines made good growth.
All in all, it was a challenging but positive year – with a very positive end result. I am especially happy with our Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage results so far – I’m convinced they are wines worth waiting for.
– P.J. Geyer, Winemaker