And what about the much-bespoken South-eastern winds which can be so relentless? According to Rudolf, the winds were there but the effect was much less than previous years, causing very little damage. As far as disease management was concerned, the winds were actually a friend and not a foe, assisting in fewer chemical sprays. The vineyards will shortly go into winter hibernation awaiting the pruning to assure best quality grapes for the 2021 season.

Back to the cellar. The last grapes were received in the cellar mid-March, totalling 594 tonnes for the season, 205 tonnes (53%) more than in 2019. The first crops of Tempranillo and Marsanne were picked and there is much anticipation as to the wines that will be the beneficiaries when our winemaker makes up his final blends.

A big challenge for the cellar team started when blocks didn’t ripen according to normal ripening patterns, causing late nights in the cellar as different varietals had to be harvested on a given day. Our dark friend, load shedding, did not make their lives any easier. But as they say, the time spent in the cellar all contributes to a better quality going into your bottle.

A few fermentations are yet to complete, however, the overall quality of the fruit and in turn the wine has been noted by JG Auret, our Winemaker, to be concentrated and richly textured. He has defined this harvest as: “Not easy. Extremely challenging! Natural fermentations were allowed to develop with some Chardonnay blocks, whilst the majority of the inoculated ferments progressed with no problems. The automated mechanical sorter certainly still proves to be a great asset contributing to overall improved quality a great piece of equipment. All blocks were vinified separately so as to see how each develops and from the looks and tastes of things, we will be bottling beautiful wines.”