Our estate is well-known for our Pinotage, and we take great pride in maintaining – and exceeding – our standards when working with this unique South African varietal. So we are very pleased to bring you the 2018 vintage, a beautiful exemplar of Pinotage named “Outstanding” by Wine Advocate (USA) and rated “Platinum” (95+) on the SA Wine Index.
The 2017 growing season that produced this vintage was marked by severe drought in our region, but this gorgeous wine is evidence of the proverbial silver lining! The cool, dry year and long winter nights ensured a longer period of ripening, which in turn enhanced minerality and added finesse to the vintage. The drought also caused the vine to send its roots deeper in search of water, and this is always a good thing for the future hardiness of the plant.
The harvest this year was bookended by unusual events outside of our control: A cooler than normal December and January meant that we started a week later, and the national lockdown announced in March meant that we harvested the last varietal in just two days. The results were exceptional.
Harvest started late, on the 30th January, because of these summer cool spells. This was, in fact, good news! It led to a higher natural acidity in the white wines as well as the Pinotage. The Pinotage was picked earlier and at a lower sugar content – to make our Pinotage blanc and Rosé wines. An anomaly was the fact that Chardonnay ripened earlier than the Sauvignon blanc and was harvested first.
The growth season had been abnormally wet, with quite a few days recording more than 10 mm rainfall and high humidity – the perfect conditions for downy and powdery mildew. We were blessed to escape such diseases, while the rest of the industry struggled with fungal infections and ensuing grey rot of the berries, with the very susceptible Chardonnay badly affected.