Ready ... steady ... harvest!

Thursday, 5 February, 2004
It begins …
While the Cap Classique winemakers started harvesting in mid-January, Theuniskraal in Tulbagh was one of the very first to start picking white wine grapes in the last week of January. Winemaker Andries Jordaan says this is a week later than normal but, other than that, cites no problems or changes this harvest.

Consensus is that the cool December weather resulted in the harvest generally starting a little later than usual though the short, sharp heatwaves in January tended to speed things up a little.

While the rainfall was generally less than the Cape’s recorded average, the winemakers are not too concerned, citing uneven ripeness as a bigger problem. ‘It just means we’ll have to visit the same vineyard twice,’ reassures Neethlingshof’s De Wet Viljoen, who tells me he’s lying awake more and more every night with a mixture of nervousness and excitement as his first harvest on this prize estate approaches.

He starts harvesting Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer on 2 February, which is no later than usual: ‘The January heat squared things up for us,’ he explains. While it’s still early days, De Wet says that it looks like the overall yield will be higher than last year and the grapes are of a high quality and disease-free.

Thanks to the farm’s extensive replanting programme, the team will be harvesting some new Shiraz and Merlot vineyards for the first time. De Wet’s not sure which wines will benefit from the new grapes, but he says he’s really enthusiastic about the quality these young vines are producing.

Issued by: DISTELL
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