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Grape harvest kicks off at Simonsig Estate

23 January 2012 by Simonsig
 
Simonsig Estate has started 2012 at a hectic pace as one of the first wine estates in the Stellenbosch region to welcome this year`s harvest. Their Pinot noir grapes, used for the iconic Kaapse Vonkel, are the first variety once again to make it to the Simonsig cellar.
 
Simonsig cellarmaster Johan Malan, is exceptionally pleased with the quality of the grapes this year even after the extreme heat, experienced during mid-January, caused the grapes to ripen faster than usual.

"The season looks very promising as a result of the mild to cool weather conditions that prevailed since the vines budded in September. The current warm weather is not unusual for this time of the year, but February is known for its high temperatures. The heat can cause sunburn on the grapes, but by irrigating the vines wisely this can be prevented. The Simonsig vineyards are lush and in excellent condition with the leaves providing shelter for the grapes from direct sunlight to protect their fine, delicate flavours. All the hard work in the vineyards up until now, is really paying off," says Johan

With the annual rainfall 30% less than the longer term average, the soil is drier than normal making the availability of irrigation water a big determining factor in the ripening of top quality grapes.

"During such years traditional dryland areas (without irrigation) ideally require one or two timely bouts of rain to see the vineyards through. Currently the Theewaterskloof pipeline is broken and a portion of the water scheme is currently out of order, causing Stellenbosch farmers some concern. Thankfully the pipeline is currently being repaired," added Johan.

Simonsig expects a good quality harvest with normal yields. The weather conditions over the next two months, however, will be a big determining factor on the overall outcome.

"We are hopeful because the vines and grapes are healthy and beautiful. The Pinot noir grapes look great and show excellent acidity and low pH values, ideal for our Kaapse Vonkel Cap Classique!" said Johan.