Harvest Report 2: Robertson activity is speeding up Stellenbosch and neighbouring areas aren't harvesting aside from a sprinkling of sparkling wine batches. But Kim Maxwell reports that many Robertson farms are bringing in MCC grapes and Sauvignon Blanc already.
Harvest Report 1 - Fires in focus As the Cape 2006 harvest trickles into action, attention remains focused on blocking the spread of Boland fires, writes Kim Maxwell.
Beaumont Harvest Report 2005 The 2005 harvest is dedicated to Hope Marguerite Beaumont who has been an inspirational figure for us all and is the namesake of the single vineyard Chenin Blanc that we harvested on her 90th birthday this year.
2005 Wine grape harvest about quality, not quantity Despite a serious drought, unpredictable weather and lower volumes than last year, the 2005 national wine-grape harvest was superb. Winemakers in all 10 regions agree that this was a record harvest - in terms of quality, not quantity.
Harvest 2005 Part 6 - Remaining regions bring in the last lots As the harvest wraps up for most by mid-March 2005, a few cellars are still primed for pump-overs. Paarl and surrounds are nearly done and most Darling vineyards have been cleared. As Easter weekend looms, Durbanville reds are coming in fast, while Robertson's unusual weather patterns have forced a frustrating waiting period, writes Kim Maxwell.
Wine shortage to flow from poor harvest Two consecutive dry winters in most of the South African wine regions have resulted in the sharpest decline in the grape harvest in years, and a shortage in locally produced white wine can be expected later in the year.
Harvest 2005 Part 5 - Major quality areas have swung into action March 2005 signals the end of whites for some and being in the thick of reds for others. Stellenbosch and Paarl are peaking halfway or ending their vintage, while Durbanville and Darling farms have just started harvesting whites. While some cultivars are down, others have equaled or improved on 2004's crops, writes Kim Maxwell.
Harvest 2005 - Part 4 : Elgin, Bot River and Walker Bay Vigilant viticulture and sorting has resulted in nicely aromatic whites and concentrated darker-skinned reds, even if tonnage is down and 2005 doesn't look to be a cracker. It's full throttle ahead in Elgin apple country to wind-whipped Kleinrivier, down Bot River's basking valleys and along the fynbos-hugging curves of the Hemel-en-Aarde, writes Kim Maxwell.
Harvest 2005 - Part 3 : Different patterns up North Late January heavy rains hampered harvest for many Western Cape cellars. Heading northwest to the Olifants River, and even further to Orange River territory in the Northern Cape, the weather and picking picture is quite different, writes our dedicated harvest-reporter, Kim Maxwell.
'Unusual season' for SA's winemakers 'Tricky', 'challenging', 'unusual' are some of the descriptions of the grape season 2004/2005. The quality of grapes from the Hemel-en-Aarde valley is expected to be good, even if the growing season wasn't quite ideal. That's the verdict from consulting winemaker for Sumaridge, Kevin Grant.
Harvest 2005 - Part 1 As harvest 2005 kicks off, a weather prediction would probably sound something like: 'Scattered showers of Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Heavier storms to come.' Harvest 2005 started with a drizzle of grapes, but it'll take a weatherman's guesstimate to pinpoint the remaining features.
Unpredictable weather challenges wine farmers If there is one particular vintage in the Stellenbosch wine region that has had to endure nearly every type of weather condition imaginable, it would be the upcoming 2005 season. According to Nicolette de Kock, chief executive of the Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes, the vineyards for this year's grapes were exposed to every possible weather condition.
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