The 2004 Harvest - how is it shaping up?

Friday, 20 February, 2004
Bruce Jack
‘The Capsule’ - Flagstone Winery's Monthly Newsletter
As old Flagstone friends will know we grow our grapes all over the Western Cape. Besides our own farm in the Overberg, we rent land from farmers on long-term leases and either manage the vineyards ourselves or direct vineyard management. This means we see vineyards situated in different areas on a very regular basis during the growing season. Generally this year's harvest looks very good.

Up north in Tulbagh we seem to be about a week earlier, whereas way down south in Elim we are at least a week later than last year. There appears to be good, speedier phenological ripening than normal in all varieties, but particularly in Merlot and Pinot Noir. However there is widespread evidence of uneven ripening in most varieties - Shiraz and Cabernet being the worst affected - probably due to the warmer winter and the cold snap we had during budburst.

We have had to drop more green bunches than normal to ensure even ripeness and have even resorted to marking bunches that show delayed ripening so we can pick them later. There are great flavours already in The Berrio Sauvignon Blanc vineyards - proving yet again that this variety responds brilliantly to the right vineyard site.

I am pretty confident it will be as good as last year, probably better.

Other recent Awards
We are really chuffed to announce that our Jack & Knox Green on Green Semillon 2002 was awarded a rare Gold Medal in the Classic Wine Trophy. This is an extremely prestigious competition with only a dozen gold medals handed out to the entire industry for all styles of wine. There were only 4 gold medals for dry white wines.

This wine is part of our Jack & Knox Range, which celebrates extreme vineyards, often of great age. The Green on Green Semillon fruit comes from a single 34-year-old vineyard in Wellington. The wine is fermented naturally in barrel, using wild, native yeast that comes into the winery on the bunches. If you want more details about joining the Flagstone Club, please email Monique or myself for details on:

Flagstone Winery
Contact: Bruce Jack, Winemaker