The 2020 harvest at Vriesenhof is a landmark one, due to it not only being the first in the new decade, but also the 40th for the Stellenbosch wine estate.
Grenache, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the first three varietals which have been picked, with winemaker Nicky Claasens enthusing about the quality and saying the yields had much improved after the recent drought-stricken years. “The juice tastes great and the scientific analysis is showing good Ph levels. Overall, the start of the harvest looks to have all the makings of a good vintage,” he said. “The Pinot Noir in particular, a wine which Vriesenhof is acclaimed for, is really beautiful.”
The team rises early, with picking starting around 6am in the morning to take advantage of cooler conditions, and finishes at 3pm before it’s too hot.
“The next week will see us continuing with Chardonnay, and Grenache for the Vriesenhof Rosé, and with the yields higher than expected it is going to be an interesting few weeks ahead.”
Claasens said harvest would continue until the end of February “or maybe early March, weather dependent.”