We started harvesting in all earnest on January 29, with Pinot Noir grapes. You can usually set your clock by Mother Nature, and this was within a day or two of previous harvest start dates from the past three years.
However, harvest has kicked off slightly slower than normal, as we experienced some summer days which were cooler than usual.
Thankfully the good winter rains meant that irrigation was not needed, as the vines had sufficient moisture from the soil. Usually it is full steam ahead with the grapes coming in thick and fast, however this year has been slightly different with some uneven ripening in the different blocks and cultivars requiring a longer hanging time.
We are pleased with the excellent quality of the Pinot Noir, and that yields are slightly up from last year’s vintage. We had to wait another week to start with picking the Chardonnay grapes, and towards the end of the week will pick some Grenache grapes for our Rose.
With the temperatures staying fairly mild, it seems that we will have a longer harvest period compared to last year, with most of the grape varieties being picked between 10 days and two weeks later than last year.
At this stage everything is looking good for another great vintage at Vriesenhof. – Jan