The enthusiasm among the Stellenbosch Vineyards winemaking team members regarding Harvest 2019, of which the first grapes of Sauvignon Blanc made its way into the cellar on 23 January 2019, is quite contagious. Winemakers, Abraham De Villiers, and Bernard Claassen are especially excited about the intense flavours and good quality shown by the white wines, given the high acidities and the low pH values of the grapes throughout.
After a relatively cool growing season, with welcoming rains during crucial parts of the fruit ripening process, shares viticulturist Francois De Villiers, it is still uncertain as to what the final impact of the severe drought will be. “With smaller bunches and uneven ripening due to the external factors we’ve experienced in the lead up to harvest, we are quite happy to see the improvement in quality compared to the 2018 vintage.”
With more favourable weather conditions and enough water to provide optimal care for the vineyards, all of which are contributing factors in creating an excellent, quality-driven vintage, the 2019 vintage promises to deliver more flavour intense wines. What’s more, the low pH values of the grapes indicate that 2019 should be an excellent vintage for cellaring.According to Abraham, the harvest is not without its challenges, of which one already took place early in the harvest period. “We had quite a scare in the cellar when our biggest press decided to rotate at an alarmingly high speed. Luckily, we kept our nerves and could stop it in time. The final verdict was that it was a computer malfunction, but it was quite a scary experience to see a 50-ton press on the move!”