Spice Route 2013 Harvest Report

Monday, 25 March, 2013
Spice Route
The 2013 harvest kicked off on the 4th of February at our Spice Route winery in the Swartland. All of our grapes have completed the veraison process, this is when colour change appears and the fruit acidity begins to decrease, while sugar content increases.
Considering the fact that this is the busiest time of the year for all winemakers, against all odds we ventured between the vines to track down Spice Route Winemaker, Charl du Plessis and asked him to give us his thoughts and predictions on Harvest 2013.
"In my experience, these vineyards were exposed to more favourable weather conditions, in comparison to last year", says Charl.
"The 2012 winter rainfall was pleasantly consistent, offering ideal intervals, which allowed the grapes to develop at an optimal level. For us, a consistently good rainfall is crucial to our 'dryland' vineyards, allowing a steady yet stagnant supply of water during the growing season, up until we start harvesting.

Apart from experiencing a few fairly hot days, we are happy with the relatively cool summer season thus far, with temperatures between 25-35 degrees. These weather conditions encourage healthy grape vines and allows for optimal ripeness in the berries. We recorded a good amount of grape bunches per variety on the vines. The vines are naturally well balanced this year, with healthy canopies and a balanced crop load. Our berries are more compact and have a good bunch weight, which usually results in good quantity and quality.
Of course there is still time for Mother Nature to throw us a curveball, but the way things are looking at the moment, we are well on our way, starting with our Viognier and thereafter the Pinot Gris.
We strive to attain natural "physiological ripeness" in the berries, this is when all the elements come together and is well-balanced; sugar, acid, tannin and colour.
Overall.... so far, so good" says an optimistic Charl.
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