While everyone’s rightfully concerned about the Western Cape’s water shortages currently, Perdeberg Wines in the Paardeberg is enthusiastic about its harvest. A highlight on the wine calendar in the Western Cape, for most, is the season of the wine harvest where all the farms and vineyards are being walked through, grapes being tasted and picked and sent on to make Perdeberg’s gorgeous and award winning wines.
Heinie Nel, the Viticulturist at Perdeberg, said that while there are still negative effects caused by the drought, which started last year, they had actually expected it to have a worse impact than it has. “The wet weather in winter 2016 has saved us. The rainfall in 2016 was 595.60mm compared to 114.90mm in 2015 and so our vines have saved their water and dug deep for their moisture. They are hardier vines than those that are irrigated and this works in our favour.”
“The dry windy summer season has seen the vineyards produce much smaller bunches and smaller grapes. The good news is that they are healthy and we had the same size bunches and berries in 2016 as we had in 2015. The only difference is that the vines are better because of the rain we had last winter, and that’s why we expect even better quality wine than in 2016. The dry winds have prevented the spread of disease among the vines. And of course everyone knows that smaller grapes produce a better wine.” said Nel.
Perdeberg’s 2017 harvest season started 10 days later than in 2016 because of the cooler weather and better growth. There are less bunches in direct sunlight so the grapes can ripen better and because of the later start, we expect the red varieties to ripen at almost the same time as the white because the later cultivars are on time. “
Here’s to a happy harvest!