The harvest is finally in full swing at Constantia Glen

Harvest season finally in full swing at Constantia Glen
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The harvest is finally in full swing at Constantia Glen, one of the jewels of the Constantia Wine Valley, a remarkably cool appellation where the grapes usually take several weeks longer to reach their full potential than other warmer wine growing regions.

Known for their cool climate Sauvignon Blancs and elegant Bordeaux style reds, Constantia Glen owes its ideal growing conditions to the close proximity to the sea and elevated position just below Constantia Nek.

“Our harvest was delayed further due to the late onset of spring. Very cool temperatures towards the end of winter tend to remain in the deep, rich soils a little longer than in other regions. With these cool soils, the growth of the vines is quite slow to begin with at the beginning of spring. The most rampant vine growth happens in November and December once the soil has warmed up,” explains winemaker Justin van Wyk.

Very deep, rich soils, comprising half decomposed sandstone and half decomposed granite and situated on a clay base, make the dry land vineyards at Constantia Glen grow optimally without the need for any irrigation and the vineyards experience very little stress that could force ripening.

“On the contrary, they allow for very slow, even ripening,” adds Justin, noting that the 2013 harvest is expected to wrap up by the end of April, mirroring the previous harvest.

Constantia Glen’s cool climate allows just a moderate increase in sugar levels during the ripening phase and this facilitates the even ripening of the tannins and flavours in the grapes without incurring the debt of too high sugar levels at optimum ripeness.

Constantia Glen has 30% of the farm planted to Sauvignon blanc and Semillon and the rest to the five classic Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Constantia Glen is open daily from 10h00 till 17h00 on week days and from 10h00 till 16h00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main road. Call 021-7956100, e-mail wine@constantiaglen.co.za, visit www.constantiaglen.com, www.facebook.com/ConstantiaGlen or follow @ConstantiaGlen on Twitter. The GPS co-ordinates are S 34º 0’39.6” E 18º 24’30.6”.

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