We are thrilled to share the unadulterated, lyrical musings of Leon Coetzee...
Vintage 2019, seems though it will one-up the #twentyHateteen & perhaps even the 2016 & 2014 vintages as one of the of the strangest, wildest & most unpredictable of all.
Though the Boland, Swartland, Elgin & great swathes of the wine lands received average to a little more rain, the preceding three years of extreme conditions has caught up with the vines - the old rule of thumb is that the harvest is formed two year or more ago, so we’re on either ‘16 or ‘17 in vine time.
Yields are once again low to below average & quality is good to really good, but with variance across picks (I like this, as a diversity of ripeness adds complexity) - though for The Fledge & Co. this is due to the fact we source far and wide, work with numerous sites & superb growers so quality is always going to be an outlier in the realm of good to very good.
Coming back to the out of control roller coaster ride that is vintage '19 - all was going well, fruit looking good, sugars climbing as predicted & picks planned out perhaps a week or so in advance, BUT then a cool spell, a heat wave or two, constantly high temperatures, not even a smattering of rain & EVERY variety and its cousin were ready for harvest.
Our Swartland Steen came in in three days - usually takes two weeks. This coming Friday I’ll have a pick in Elgin of Chardonnay, Viognier & Cabernet Sauvignon - all of which are ripe to pick. So what usually takes 12 weeks will most likely all be said & done in 7.5 weeks - so many many back to back trips to the Boland, many Rooi Bulletjies, pies & strong coffees.
The Fledge & Co. Harvest board:
Swartland Bosstok Steen
Swartland Bosstok Colombard
Stellenbosch Bush Vine Chenin
Stellenbosch Young Chenin
Sauvignon blanc - Agulhas, Elgin, Stellenbosch, Swartberg & Sondagskloof
Pinot Noir - Elgin
“Stok by Paltjie” Alicante Bouschet, Cinsault & Cab Franc
Still to come in:
Sauvignon blanc - Waboomskraal
And maybe some other lost little grapes along the way, who knows.
So, it’s off to the cellar then.
Oh! and we’ve had a torrid fire season as well with numerous massive blazes across the Cape - so spare a thought to all the brave volunteer firefighters & everyone affected by the blazes.
As they say, when times are tough, the juice gets squeezed.