During the 2016 harvest we experienced extremely hot and dry conditions, which of course impacted on our water resources as well as our available ground water. Continuous strong winds in January accelerated berry ripening, also a harvest time that was more or less two weeks earlier.
As a result of extreme weather conditions vineyard growth was weaker and bunches smaller. The sugar levels, however, rose while the acidity levels decreased rapidly. We have some exciting tanks in our cellars, partly because of the uniquely powerful and concentrated aromas which in turn was the positive outcome of the heatwaves in January 2016.
February 2016 was much milder so ripening was encouraged. At night temperatures were lower and this contributed to the exceptional colour and flavour.
The first grapes arrived on 11 January and towards the end of the month roughly 400 tonnes were taken. The Pinot Gris came in first, followed by Sauvignon blanc and Chenin blanc. In the Swartland yields were lower, as was the case in Citrusdal and Groenekloof. Yields at L’Ormarins were higher than expected and the condition of the vines was superb, in spite of the searing heat. Altima encountered the same problems and managed their water very carefully and at the critical times, coinciding with physiological growth. They were awarded for their efforts since the quality of the grapes seemed to be of the most excellent quality.
In conclusion it must be mentioned that all members of the winemaking team worked incredibly hard to produce the best quality grapes. For their effort we congratulate and thank them. Everybody is looking forward to the new season when new and exciting wines will be produced to please our clients!