Well it’s been almost a month since I last posted. I’ve been very busy out in the vineyards, and also too lazy to write. Today it’s cold and rainy outside, so I thought it’s time to post what I’ve been up to the last month.
July and August is pruning time in the Cape Winelands, and this year Felco Africa upped their game in Vineyard Worker training and recognition. I judged 7 pruning competitions, including the 2017 Agri Worker of the year, hosted at La Motte in Franschhoek. Skills development are the main focus with these contests, and each year we see the quality of vineyard pruning improving. More on this competition can be found here
In between these contests I still had my own clients to attend to. I have a total of 500 hectares where I am involved with pruning – all at various levels. Each year, with better viticulture practices like suckering, shoot positioning etc, pruning becomes easier and more precise, improving yields and quality.
One of the highlights of August was definitely visiting the Skerpioen and T’Voetpad vineyards with Eben Sadie of The Sadie Family Vineyards. These old vines are planted in the craziest places, from white sand ontop of chalk, less than 5 km from the ocean, to a vineyard – partially in a riverbed – surrounded by mountains – all dating back to the early 1900’s.
Furthermore I’ve been developing some interesting vineyards. Some planned and calculated, some for fun, some for the future. From a Grenache/Cinsaut/Shiraz/Carignan vine garden in my grandma’s backyard in Stilbaai in the South Coast, to a vine garden in the Perdeberg – amoungst granite outcrops, to vineyards on a mountain more than 700 meters above sea level, to vineyards anchored in Schist and Gneiss, to a well planned three-year-in-the-making Grenache vineyard on a Northern granitic slope in Wellington. And watch this space – there will be more to come.
And as you might have noticed, I quite enjoy remote sensing and GIS, so we’ve been looking at some prominent vineyards in Spain, mapping them and trying to understand what makes them great – all in an effort to better understand viticulture on our side the Equator.
And that was one month in a nutshell.