After 12 harvests, we continue to love this magical time of year and the promise of a new vintage.
The second week of January brought a drastic change in weather and a severe heat wave descended on the Winelands accelerating the ripening of the grapes. Fortunately, we did not have this problem earlier in the season, leading to an overall more elegant ripening period with better fruit intensity and acid balance.
The grapes from Bonnievale and Robertson come in first, as they have an earlier bud break than Franschhoek. All our grapes are hand-picked early in the morning starting at first light, to get in our 8 tons for the day before the temperatures of the grapes start to rise. Warm grapes will bruise easily, and bruising will lead to oxidation of the juice
Over the past few weeks, tonnes of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have passed through our cellar. There is one block remaining to be harvested, which winemaker Francois Joubert refers to as his “green component”. This block sits high up in Elgin with lots of water and deep alluvial soil for deep root formation, but it does not have the intensity of the sun, resulting in a greener spectrum of fruit.
We have been thrilled with the quality we have seen to date and the intense flavour concentration of this year’s yield. We look forward to crafting yet another super Le Lude vintage.