As the harvest begins and the first grapes start arriving at the cellar, it is worth looking at the conditions in the run-up to the vintage. Spice Route winemaker Charl du Plessis had the following information to share regarding the past six months expectations for 2010 vintage
The winter of 2009 provided us with good winter rainfall, taking the total rainfall for the year to 637mm. Late November saw an unseasonal 104mm fall. The budding of the vines was nice and even and we had good growth from spring to summer.
An interesting observation is that the leaves on all the varieties are very small this year, both in our Swartland and Darling vineyards. The crop levels on most varieties are low, due largely to a lot of wind (the ‘Black Southeaster’) during the flowering and fruit set. Some of the varieties were affected by mildew thanks to the late rain and a number of bunches lost berries during the heavy rains in November.
Overall the berry sizes are much smaller than in 2009 and the bunch weights are lighter. This should lead to good concentration of flavour in the grapes (and the wine!).
Going out on a limb, I would say that we are likely to have a 15 – 20% lower crop than in the 2009 vintage.