Unpredictability – the spice of life!

Monday, 25 February, 2019
Michelangelo International Award
Chatting to our partners and friends in the industry, it appears that the 2019 harvest is indeed a very interesting one: part unpredictable and with some unexpected surprises, but still some very happy faces and big smiles are to be seen all around!

During the next few months some exciting announcements will be made concerning Africa’s largest wine and spirits awards event, so watch this space for regular updates.

But the most important matter of the moment is no doubt the 2019 harvest! 

 Unpredictability and smiles

Chatting to our partners and friends in the industry, it appears that 2019 is indeed a very interesting year: part volatile with some unexpected surprises, and partly much to smile about.

Despite the winter rains of last year the vines are yet to recover to their former health after the preceding four years of drought. And then there was the somewhat schizophrenic growing season: wonderful cool, fresh weather interspersed with a few days of temperatures well into the 30’s  - this really set the cat among the pigeons, causing lower yields in some areas and a lot of uneven ripening.

Some areas were crushing and fermenting Sauvignon Blanc in mid-January this year already, while the Northern Cape saw a late start to the harvest – the dense flow of Colombard and Chenin Blanc only beginning in the week of 18 February.

Chemistry and quality: looking good!

However, with the total grape crop expected to be even lower than last year due to the extended effects of the drought, extraordinary quality levels are being seen in the crushed juice and the young fermenting wines.

The chemistry is, in general, looking superb with acids, sugars and pH levels singing off the same hymn-sheet written as an ode to fine wine. Visiting some cellars where the red grapes are fermenting, one is over-whelmed by the extraordinary perfumes and the inky-black colour of the extracted juice.

With some Sauvignon Blancs ready to be bottled next week due to public demand, the young wines are tasting brisk and fresh – as they should at this time – but with developed flavours and surprising depth, even after only a few weeks on the lees.

It is a time of hard work and long hours during which the wineries’ logistic capacities are taxed to the maximum. But it is also the most exciting period in the winelands and everywhere we go wine makers and cellar workers are keen to show us around, let us taste the young wine and egg us on to share in the excitement and expectation of this wonderful time of the year.

The whole Michelangelo team wishes everyone the very best for the harvest. You and your wonderful wines make us - and the whole industry - proud.

Talking of the team, it is perhaps worth reminding the industry that the Michelangelo operation is now well and truly based in the winelands. With our head-office in the heart of Stellenbosch, we are true wineland operators – this is why we are able to get out to the wineries and keep a keen eye on what is going on! This partnership with the wine and spirits industries is of the utmost importance to Michelangelo and, we believe, the reason for continuing to increase our entries each year as well as to capture the imagination of various sponsors who add value to entrants to the competition.

Wishing all wineries the very best for the harvest as we look forward to showing you what to expect from Michelangelo this year.

Lorraine Immelman
Founder and CEO

Lorraine Immelmann
Lorraine Immelmann

more news