It’s been a long yet interesting harvest season and we are excited to share our thoughts and perspectives with you on what to expect from the 2019 vintage.
Harvest 2019 wrapped on 20 March as the last of our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes came into the cellar. It’s always a bittersweet moment; excited to finish off with the long hours and hard work to get all the grapes into cellar on time, but sad to end this exciting time of the year. Although many vintners found 2019 a very challenging vintage with extreme downy mildew pressure due to the relatively wet spring and early summer, we did not lose any crop as a result. Chardonnay was down through SA, and more specifically in Stellenbosch, due to uneven bud burst. The strong south-east winds during flowering further affected the crops negatively, especially the Chardonnay, with some farms being down with more than 50% of their crop. Fortunately we were only down with about 15% on the previous year and with the exception of Cab Franc and Chenin Blanc which were up by 25% in volume.
Many growers also struggled with sugar levels and battled rot on the varieties that ripen later; something we were thankfully spared. “I believe this is due to our biodynamic way of farming. Because of the competition in the first 30cm of soil, our vines have to search deep for water which prevents them from immediately soaking up the water. This often leads to berry swelling, flavour and sugar dilution as well as skin tearing,” says Jasper Raats, cellar master.
As a whole it was a cool ripening year from which we can especially expect some excellent quality Chardonnay. The quality and fruit intensity of the wines promise to deliver an excellent vintage and probably more elegant wines than last year. We’re looking forward to some elegant and well-structured wines.