The harvest is in and Elgin Vintners winemaker and business manager Marinda Kruger-Claassen reflects on a healthy crop and the promise of an exceptional vintage.
This was a very exciting harvest for Elgin Vintners, as we received grapes into our own cellar for the first time.
Leading up to the start of the 2020 harvest in February, favourable conditions in Spring 2019 woke the vines from their cold winter dormancy, leading to early and even budding, followed by dry and warm conditions in November causing healthy spurts of growth.
We started early in the season with canopy management – tucking in the shoots between the trellising wires and tipping to encourage good side shoot and leaf development.
This is organising the “organic acid factory”, I always say.
Some wind in November and December luckily didn’t damage the vines but did cause smaller grape berry development which, in the end, made the bunch weight lighter, with a smaller juice-to-skin ratio. The advantage of this was smaller berries with great flavour concentration.
The red wine cultivars had visible, beautifully even veraison. We had a very good, moderate to slow ripening period from veraison in January up to harvest, which started with Pinot Noir in the second week of February and finished on 3 April with Merlot.
We harvested 185 tons in total, from a very healthy crop overall: no visible rot on any of the grapes in the vineyard nor at harvest when grapes were received into the cellar.
It is still early days, but 2020 is promising to be an exceptional vintage in terms of quality. The young wines in the cellar and in barrel are showing good concentration, loads of flavour, and good tannins and textures on the reds.
I can stand back in awe and with a grateful heart. The harvest is in!
Thank you to my team, you were amazing!