Swartland, March 2012: “The Swartland is a region for extreme winemaking – it is harsh and unforgiving but ultimately rewarding.” Charles Back.
The Spice Route Winery’s vineyards are located at two sites – Malmesbury and Darling, and both sites indicate about a 30-35% lower crop in comparison to the 2011 harvest. “This can be attributed mainly to the drought and the very low winter rainfall experienced in June and July 2011, only 440mm. The two heat waves in January also affected the vineyards and resulted in slight sun damage on some of the cultivars,” says winemaker Charl du Plessis.
The 2012 harvest got off to a slow start with only Pinot Gris harvested on 23January, approximately a week earlier than usual. The harvest of the Swartland Viognier on the 1st of February was the sounding bell for the official start to the 2012 harvest.
Dispite the warm weather and smaller crop, Charl is particulary excited about the 2012 Darling Sauvignon Blanc – showing beautiful tropical flavours, as well as the red wines boasting with dark colour and full, ripe tannins. The last cultivars to be harvested will be the Mourvedré and Souzao grapes.
Harvest will most likely continue till the end of March, which is aproximately 15-20 days later than usual.