The purpose of this Harvest report is to give our readers some idea of the climatic conditions prevailing in the 2015 season and clarify matters by a summary of crops and vintage as from January 2015.
The season of 2015 can be characterized by considerable climatic fluctuations. At first it appeared that there would be a larger crop earlier in the season, but because of windy conditions during flowering and fruit set, it resulted in looser bunches. The subsequent warmer weather during harvest also contributed to a smaller crop, the latter being the result of berry shrivelling in most late cultivars. Fortunately it was a healthy, positive year with no significant outbreaks of diseases or insect pests.
The 2014 winter was ideal, the third in a row. Rains filled the dams and soil water. Subsequently sufficient cold units were accumulated to ensure even budburst.
August was warmer than usual and budburst occurred 7-14 days earlier. The warmer weather attributed to even bud break and even initial growth. Vineyard growth started with a bang and more tipping and topping were needed to control vigorous growth.
Spring was relatively cool. Weather fluctuations and a strong southeaster had an effect on flowering and growth in the vineyard. During the flowering of early cultivars, the weather conditions were favourable. It resulted in good fruit set while the flowering period for late cultivars were less favourable, as a result of windy conditions, which resulted in loose bunches and uneven bunch development. Unevenness between bunches and berries on the same bunches was also apparent.
We are pleased to report very positively on the outcome of our crops.
Our Terra del Capo cellar team arrived back from the annual summer holiday on 12 January 2015. Arriving with them was our first crop of a newly established vineyard of Pinot Gris on L’Ormarins.
It was quite clear that this was going to be an exceptionally early and compact vintage! When our German intern, Florian Schneider, arrived in early February, we were in full swing. Both Florian and our local Stellenbosch intern, Hanri Ferreira, have been a tremendous help. They are certainly not scared of getting stuck and helped us to carry the workload and stay on top of things throughout.
At Terra del Capo we strive to make an exceptionally good wine and have fun while doing so! Our reliable, knowledgeable team have once again given their best and worked very diligently this year to ensure that the fruit that has been nurtured in the vineyard and carefully nurtured throughout the growing season earns respect in the cellar. We express our gratitude for their dedication and commitment. Sometimes, when a day has stretched well into the night, Mervin or Willie also lifted the spirit with their songs.
We also glad to report this one has to be one of the best vintages in quite a number of years!
To summarize, the fruit has been outstanding. The whites have great fruit and acids, the reds show good depth and colour, our Sauvignon blanc and Altima’s Chardonnay are fermenting as we write and the cool nights and moderate days have resulted in incredible anticipation for the future.
Before long we should have our first wine of the vintage, the 2015 Protea Rose, in the bottle!
We are always humbled to have the privilege of doing another vintage. It’s never the same – the challenge of being a part of a great new wine is always there.
Our wish is that you will enjoy the fruits of our labour as much as we have producing these fine wines.
Anthonij Rupert winemaking team!