Simonsig toasts the 2014 harvest with Pinot noir for Kaapse Vonkel
Tommie Corbett, Debbie Thompson, Hannes Meyer, Barbara Melck (2) - LR.JPG
With the vineyards teeming with workers and winemakers, at Simonsig Estate the Pinot noir is once again the first grapes to step up to the press this year.
Although untimely rains can still affect the quality of grapes, Johan Malan, Cellarmaster at Simonsig, is especially pleased with the high levels of acidity showcased by the Pinot noir and fruit intensity in the white varietals at the start of the 2014 harvest.
“This year's harvest commenced seven days later than the previous year. The slow ripening was mainly caused due to the very wet winter and regular rains during spring,” says Johan.
“We have started with the Pinot noir for the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel and the natural acidity has been higher than normal which is always a good sign for Méthode Cap Classique cuvées. The moist conditions in November, December and January caused a bit of downy mildew in some blocks which may affect the yield negatively, but certainly not the quality,” continues Johan.
“At this stage the prospects are very good and we are expecting a high quality vintage although the weather conditions can still have a major impact on the outcome. This is especially applicable to the late ripening reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz which are harvested late in March. During this time untimely rain can still affect quality. The cool conditions up till now will certainly benefit the early varieties such as Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin blanc,” he adds.
With the soils retaining enough water and requiring virtually no additional irrigation so far, the Simonsig vineyard team is trying to slow down the vigorous growth of the vines by allowing the soils to dry out. With the Cape Doctor sweeping in, their hard labour in the vineyards will certainly be rewarded as it will assist the drying out process.
“The warm conditions experienced at the moment are normal and will speed up the ripening process and dry out any possible fungus infections. We look forward a good harvest and taking the first sip of our Kaapse Vonkel 2014, our famous Méthode Cap Classique,” Johan concludes.
Simonsig Wine Estate is located outside Stellenbosch, on the Kromme Rhee road between the R44 and R304. For more information visit www.simonsig.co.za, join the Simonsig community on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @Simonsig_Estate.