Sunday, January 27, 2008

Preparation for harvest 2008


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Harvest Planning
The first harvest planning meeting of the year went really well. For those in the Northern hemisphere, we are preparing to harvest our first Merlot vineyards on the 11th of February 2008 - it is a bit weird to be so different to the North, but there you go. The long, cold and wet winter (S Hemisphere summer) in 2007 has really set us up for a good looking harvest. Extended vine dromancy and a completely repleted water table have set up an excellent foundation which we will now build on.
The flowering window in 2007 was relatively narrow leading to an excelerated veraison and what looks like might be a very compact harvest. We will still be on the lookout for any kind of uneveness in the berries and will eploy our old tricks of 'berry variability analysis' priot to harvest to give us an indication of the extent to which we will have to rely on our grape pickers and sorters. We are now finished veraison in the Merlot and Malbec and approaching completion on the Cabs. This year we did something really interesting in one of our Malbec vineyards by taking a daily photograph of the same vine from pre- to post veraison. I am currently putting together a little video which I will post online which will show quite graphically the changes being experienced by the vine as it goes through veraison. Has anyone ever done this before? Please let me know...

Bottling the 2006 vintage
We are planning the bottling of the exemplary 2006 vintage in the first week of February this year. Zelma and Bernard are thrilled with the wines and it serves to quantifiy the growth in quality that we are experiencing as we develo our techniques, have moved into our own state-of-the-art winery and as the vineyards go past 10 years of age.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Team Photo

From LTR Zelma Long, Pippa Wordie, Ronald Spies, Mike Ratcliffe,
Phil Freese, Edward Pietersen, Bernard Le Roux