Danielle foot-pressing the Hárslevelü
Lammershoek - Harvest Report 2012
25 May 2012 by Lammershoek
The lead up to the 2012 vintage and the vintage period itself was a dry
one. This dryness (some would call it drought) has been a factor in the
Swartland for the past few years and there is no way of avoiding it.
The ground water level over the past two / three seasons has not been replenished during winter to levels where the vines can readily "feed" off a layer of moisture deep below the soil's surface. This water is necessary for the vines to sustain themselves through the extremely warm, dry months of January to March. This was evident in the yields produced and the general weight of the bunches from dry-land farmed vines particularly, at harvest time.
The growing season began with later than usual budding (roughly two weeks later than 2011). The first vines to bud were Chenin Blanc and Hárslevelü. It was a very slow, cool and dry growing season, with flowering also naturally being later than usual because of this. As is always the case, the timing of the arrival of the heat waves was at the back of everybody's mind. Like 2011 the heat arrived with a bang - very early and very hot.
This heat sped up development in the vineyard dramatically, and a lot of vines were shell shocked having had a relaxing holiday in Burgundy and then suddenly being forced into a prolonged tour of the pyramids of Giza. The only advantage of the heat and dryness was that we were still able to harvest our grapes in 2012 and not do two vintages in 2013 which would have created a lot of unnecessary work, stress and complications.
In short, 2012 was a dream growing season up until the first week of January when things started to get really warm. There were obvious challenges and it was a vintage more so than normal to stand back and observe what was really going on with the ripening grapes.
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