Bouchard Finlayson 2019 Harvest – From the Vineyard to the Cellar

Wednesday, 27 March, 2019
Bouchard Finlayson
All about the 2019 Harvest at Bouchard Finlayson

After several weeks of exciting harvest activity in the Bouchard Finlayson vineyard, the grapes are in, the dust is settling and the focus returns to the cellar.

The last few weeks have seen Bouchard Finlayson estate manager Mortimer Lee and a team of more than 30 farmworkers systematically work their way through almost 25 hectares of vineyards, picking select quality fruit which could best capture the alluring prospect of a great vintage. Over to winemaker Chris Albrecht who had gently coached the newly harvested bunches of grapes through the efficient completion of all initial processing-phases. Chris and his team will next be negotiating the intricate journey from fermentation tanks and oak barrels to selection, blending and quality-control and then, finally, into the bottle and glass. The quest is to bring to the market those quality Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc and Bouchard Finlayson’s signature blends Blanc de Mer (white) and Hannibal (red), which the boutique cellar is renowned for worldwide.

The culmination of a most favourable 2018/2019 growing season is providing an early introduction to one of Bouchard Finlayson’s most promising vintages of the past ten years. This follows hard-on-the-heels of the superlative 2018 vintage, which had been earmarked as a potential new benchmark in the boutique winery’s consistent striving to attain ever-higher levels of distinction in the crafting of quality wines. Estate Manager Mortimer Lee says: ‘In my opinion, the 2019-vintage will certainly match, or even surpass those most recent expressions of superior quality’.

Early predictions all accentuate quality, rather than quantity.  The 2019 Chardonnay harvest delivered its own specific challenges with uneven ripening of bunches that necessitated multiple visits, staggered over a number of weeks, to each chardonnay vineyard-block. The results achieved in harvesting each smaller batch of Chardonnay-fruit at its own, unique pinnacle of optimum-ripeness have however proven exceptional. It is now anticipated that the significantly smaller crop will translate into Chardonnay wines of truly outstanding quality, while still delivering the requisite volumes to meet the estate’s annual Chardonnay bottlings of approximately 1500 x 12-bottle cases.

The Pinot Noir vineyards, being much less vulnerable to the vagaries of early-season weather patterns, faced fewer challenges from unruly environmental variables. Bouchard Finlayson’s harvest period invariably commences with the picking of Pinot Noir fruit that had showed first in progressing to a desired degree of ripeness. The 2019 Pinot crop was only marginally larger than the estate’s medium-term average and displayed a similar, unrivalled quality of fruit that previously had distinguished the 2018 crop from many previous vintages. Pinot Noir bottlings are envisaged to total approximately 2000 x 12-bottle cases and Albrecht and Lee are both cautiously optimistic that the 2019 Pinot Noir has the potential, like the last few vintages, to be another show stopper. ‘We are quietly confident that the 2019 vintage will represent yet another marker in an extended period of Bouchard Finlayson excellence’, they concluded.


ENQUIRIES & RESERVATIONS: or Tel 028 312 3515

Business Hours: Monday to Friday 09h00 - 17h00; Saturdays 10h00 - 13h00


Wine Tastings are offered showcasing Bouchard Finlayson’s latest vintages – white blend Blanc de Mer 2018; Sauvignon Blanc 2018; Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017; Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2017; Kaaimansgat/Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2017; Missionvale Chardonnay 2016 and Bouchard Finlayson’s famed red blend, the Hannibal 2016. Also available for tasting is South Africa’s pinot pioneer and founder of Bouchard Finlayson, Peter Finlayson’s award-winning flagship wine, Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (currently the 2017 vintage).

Cost: taste three wines R30 per person; six wines R60 per person


Peter Finlayson has hand-picked a selection of special, older vintages that are on display and available for sale at the cellar door.


By prior arrangement and with advance reservation. R60 per person


Generous platters served on wooden boards made from old wine barrels, laden with a selection of charcuterie, mild Gruberg cheese, Colby cheese, ciabatta, estate olive oil, olives, olive tapenade and mixed nuts.

Cost R260, serving 2 people


Includes a fruit juice, bag of cookies, dried fruit roll, packet of savoury provita crackers and mini cheese rounds.

Cost: R70 per child


Guided Walking Trails (Choose between 45 minutes, 60 minutes and 2,5 hours)

Cost: R400 for up to 6 people, thereafter an additional R60 per person - maximum 12 people in a group (Pre-booking a week in advance)