“In many ways the red grape harvest, which started on 7 February, fell within the norm of previous years. The Merlot for eg was perfectly on time compared with 2018 and the yields were as expected. So no surprises there,” says winemaker Jan van Rooyen.
Where it became it bit out of the ordinary was the earlier harvesting of the Cabernet Sauvignon with phenolic ripeness achieved before full sugar ripeness appeared. So, although the sugars were lower than 2018, the balling was still good and totally within the quality range.
Both the Cabernet Franc and Shiraz were later though – a week and two weeks respectively. So, it was a bit of a patchy harvest from the red varietals’ point of view.
Jan ended off by commenting: “By third week of March we still had a few blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon to finish as well as the Petit Verdot, but we finished off with the last bin of Petit Verdot on Friday 29 March – exactly like last year when the last grapes arrived in the cellar on the same day!”