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Welcome to 2016. I believe it will be an exciting year for me and Visualviticulture, with quite a lot of potentially exciting things to happen this year. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

The summer has been extremely dry and hot thus far, putting immense pressure on water resources and even more on the plants that need them. Where water is sufficient the vines and grapes still look very healthy, but sadly I cannot say the same for the supplementary irrigated vines – not to mention the dry land vines. The berries are small and the bunches are compact.

Chenin blanc vine

Chenin blanc vine

Extreme heat punished the vines even further, with some days going beyond 40ºC. The night temperatures didn’t cool down significantly and I can see the results in the red grapes struggling with veraison. The vines are under a lot of pressure, and so is the farmers.

Chenin blanc

Chenin blanc bunch sunburn


Pinotage veraison

I went through about 1200 hectares of vineyards last week. The sugars are between 15ºB and 19.8ºB in the early Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Sauvignon blanc blocks. I think we will start on Thursday the 14th January with the first Chenin blanc for MCC (Methode Cap Classique). The real fun starts from the 18th January.

But all is not doom and gloom in the vineyards. The farms with water have an amazing crop looking not only at yield but also at quality.


Chardonnay bunch

Ok, so there is a short summary since December 2015. Updates will be more frequent during harvest with all the activities on the farm and in the cellar. Happy harvest to all the Southern Hemisphere wine countries!


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