This year’s harvest is promising to deliver close to that of 2015, with some local Constantia Valley winemakers suggesting it will surpass the quality achieved.
Living in Lakeside, 2km from Muizenberg, one is accustomed to cooler climate conditions ranging from gentle sea breezes to gale force South-Easter winds. However, I have noticed early morning and evening chills that are most welcome – diurnal temperatures are beneficial for acid retention in berries and slower ripening, especially at veraison. So a completely different weather pattern to 2016, where heat waves played havoc with acid and pH levels.
I popped into Groot Constantia this morning to see what the 2017 harvest is promising there. Crossing the platform to get to Boela’s office is not easy for one who dislikes heights. “I hate looking down Boela” I said. “Well, don’t look down”, he quipped. Easier said than done.
Boela and co-winemaker, Rudolph Steenkamp are very upbeat for the 2017 vintage and believe the quality might very well surpass that of 2015. Although we had a drier winter in 2016, the SE winds have played a crucial role in maintaining healthy vineyards. Add to this adequate soil moisture and you have happy vines, thus happy winemakers!
Nature ultimately dictates what vintage we end up with, but thus far the signs are good. Let’s see what next week brings.