Happenings in the Vineyards

by Farm Manager & Viticulturist Ian Engelbrecht

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We started the year 2013 with a glass of the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and enjoying the view discussing the year ahead.  Our farm’s view from the top, overlooking False Bay is probably one of the best in Stellenbosch.

We had a good raining season in 2012, ensuring proper soil moisture saturation that in turn makes the vines’ growing season start off better.

After budding started we had to start with our spraying program to ensure healthy grapes. Even though we followed our program to the tee, we still had a little mealy bug infection. But when we harvested we just made sure that we don’t harvest those specific grapes. We also had to go in and do some suckering to ensure that there is enough air flow and sunlight penetration in the vines.
In the end we had lovely grapes witch ripened nicely and was full of flavor. We were also lucky enough to harvest 15% more grapes in 2013 than we did in 2012. So we were able to make some more of the good stuff (Beau Joubert wines off course).

We also did our first bubbly harvest this year, the grapes for the bubbly has to be just right when you harvest, not too ripe but also not to green, otherwise you will not get all the flavors that you need. So that was a nice addition to our range.

After harvest we put down our post harvest fertilizer, we need this to ensure that the vines can build up enough strength to start their new growing season.

Before the end of our winter we did our yearly pruning of the vines. In some of the blocks we played around with a few different pruning techniques to see if we can make our great wines even better. (Aren’t we just great?)

We had a few wine bloggers come to the farm in Agust to learn a little about pruning.

I gave them a quick theoretical intro, because who likes to study anyway, and then we went to go and prune some vines. Some of the bloggers were fast learners, so to show them how to prune was fun. There was, of course, some that struggled and I even had to ask one of them to rather stop pruning because you can only stand so much punishment being given to your vines.
But, other than that it was great fun, we can do that again!

So far our 2014 season has started off great, all our vineyards are looking great and there are a lot of grapes hanging on the vines to ensure we keep all our supporters as happy as can be.
We just need to keep them all healthy and happy with enough food, water and sunshine and, if someone is willing, come and sing them a song, because my singing sucks. But I still love all my vineyards.
I am looking forward to see the results of our labor next year.

We are happy to announce that we are planning to plant a new block of Sauvignon Blanc next year (2014).

This is to ensure that we can keep on delivering our great product to the people and even make it better with new and improved clones, with heaps more flavor. The vines are already ordered, the soil samples analyzed and the soil is just about to be loosened and corrected with the right amount of lime and fertilizers.

Feel free to pop in and have a look at our wonderful vineyards!

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