Lammershoek - Vintage Report 2013

Thursday, 1 August, 2013
Lammershoek Private Wine Cellar
"When it rains it pours"
As the quote suggests, the 2013 vintage was preceded by one of the wettest winters we have had in recent years. All Swartland vineyards need good soaking rains during the winter months to provide a solid platform for the vines to grow on and to cope with the sun and heat stress that will follow in summer. Without good rains the ground water reserves are quickly used up and early stress can be evident (as was the case for 2011 and 2012). This affects the immediate vintage in any number of ways and is obviously then what makes each vintage different. There is nothing better in the Swartland than the sound of rain coming down on your roof, we all needed a break after the previous dry winters.

The growing season was, more than ever due to the high ground water levels, about tackling the weeds in the vineyard at the right time. More water, more life. August, (generally when the vines start coming to life again) was the wettest month of the year. This, timed with warmer weather, was a perfect start for the sleepy vineyards. The vines did take some time to wake from their slumber which we were thankful for as this meant we had more time to combat weeds. All the vineyards are 'cleaned' by hand and spades, or in Afrikaans skoffeled which is a lot of work and needs to be done at the right time, whilst the ground is still soft and one can work around the vine. In the middle of the rows we work with ploughs / discs but it is the work around the vines that needs extra attention.

We only sprayed our vineyards three times this year and managed to put down very little copper (one spray) with the rest of the sprays being sulphur. Disease pressure was very low and we are definitely now seeing the benefits of our change in farming practices five years ago. Our ultimate goal is to replace copper entirely, but these things take time and patience and careful observation of each individual vineyard site.

Please click here to download the complete Vintage 2013 Report (pdf format).