Climate-change has been on everyone’s agenda the past few months. The reason is that for the first time we can see an actual difference in the weather patterns of our respective regions. Form the driest winter in a long time to a very cool September. October has been another month with some strange weather, cool mornings to very hot days. Then enters November with even cooler mornings and days that cannot decide whether they want to warm or just pleasant, leaving us rather confused as to what season we are really in. The only factor that is a definite indication that we are in November and at the end of spring is the incessant wind. To be honest even the wind is confused, shifting directions constantly.
The only things not complaining yet are the vines. The hot days with cool evenings mean a great chance of having dew in the morning. Added to that the moderate days with partial cloud cover and you have almost perfect growing conditions for a vine. For the vineyard staff this has been a hand full keeping everything under control. They have spent long hot days in the humid canopies suckering the vines to maintain proper growth regions as not to spend the finite resources on unnecessary growth.
Still the vines have flourished, the inflorescence have finished blooming by the end of October before the wind became a problem leading to beautiful berry set. The crop this year is looking amazing, on most cultivars this is a blessing, and on the young Grenache vines this is nothing more than a curse. It means even longer days in the vineyards for our staff as they have to carefully sucker away unwanted bunches. Green harvesting is not something we do very easily but this year’s growth has necessitated the action.
In the Cellar work has continued at a slower pace. The bottling schedule for the year has been completed earlier than usual as we realise that the harvest will be early again this vintage. This means that the racking of the wine in barrel have to start earlier as we need December to prep the cellar for harvest. Even with the task of cleaning and prepping the cellar for harvest looming in the very near future the cellar team are working at a slower than normal pace. And let’s face it nobody can blame them, even if the physical work to rack barrels is taxing the blissful cool of the cellar is a much better place to be than outside.
Chardonnay Vineyards at Talana Hill
As stated all the bottling for the year have been completed with the new vintage showing unbelievable promise. Under the Vriesenhof range we have the Chardonnay 2014 earning 91 Points in the annual Prescient Chardonnay report and the Vriesenhof Grenache 2014 showing the same promise as the 2013 which won gold in the Tri-nations competition last year. And just in time for the summer we have the Paradyskloof Grenache Rose 2015, light and fresh, a perfect drink on a hot afternoon.