Delaire Graff Estate’s winemaker, Morné Vrey, is relentless in his pursuit of quality. Together with viticulturist Kallie Fernhout and their team, Morné has been busy with the 2019 harvest.
“Due to severe weather fluctuations during bud break and flowering, followed by cool windy conditions leading to less and uneven bunches with smaller berries, our white wines for 2019 will show good acidity and balanced flavour profiles. Our red portfolio, despite the challenging season, continues to show elegance,” says Vrey.
Delaire Graff Estate Harvest Timeline:
- 21 January 2019 – First grapes received at Estate (Chenin Blanc)
- 8 April 2019 – Last batch of grapes received at Estate (Cape Vintage)
Vinpro 2018/2019 growing season analysis:
Winter had a late start with good rainfall following a drier than normal post-harvest period in autumn. Despite the good rainfall, warmer than normal temperatures – especially a number of hot days in July – initially led to low cold unit accumulation which in turn contributed to early and uneven bud break in some vineyards. The cold weather returned in August however, which slowed down bud break.
Spring was characterised by big weather fluctuations, which resulted in less, looser and uneven bunches, as well as smaller berries. Vineyards were off to a slow start and growth was erratic due to variations between warm and cold days, as well as cold soil temperatures.
A heat wave at the end of October was followed by cold, windy conditions during the flowering and set phase of many vineyards. This led to unevenness in bunches and berries between vines in the same block and even on the same grapevine. Frequent rain showers in this period also necessitated greater inputs from producers to control diseases such as downy mildew, which in some cases contributed to crop losses.
Weather conditions improved at the onset of summer. Warmer weather in November was conducive to vineyard growth, however berry development couldn’t fully catch up. Temperatures were moderate in December and January, followed by an initial hot February, as expected.
The harvesting season kicked off a little later than normal, with warm weather as reflected in the initial grape analyses. The harvest became more challenging, however, as cool, wet conditions dominated from the end of February through March. Many cultivars that ripen later in the season, especially red varietals, struggled to accumulate sugar and were ripe at lower sugar levels.
To download the complete 2019 South African Harvest Report – CLICK HERE