2014 Harvest Expectations

Although visitors to the winelands can still see vineyard workers clipping away between the rows and smell the flavours of fermentation when joining us for a wine tasting, the 2014 harvest is almost a thing of the past. Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche shares his thoughts on what we can expect from this vintage.

Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche with La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg at La Motte’s Blessing of the Harvest Celebrations – all dressed according to the Green theme of the day

The winter preceding the harvest plays a very important role in the quality of the grapes. 2013 had a good winter with ample cold units to ensure dormancy and enough rain to replenish water levels.

A moderate spring with a few cold fronts maintained cooler soil temperatures which resulted in late budding and slower initial growth. As a result, at La Motte the harvest started about ten days later than usual.

As temperatures rose and rains continued, we were concerned about disease, but with good anticipation, we have managed to prevent any problems up till now.

The high water levels resulted in lush growing conditions and canopy management has been very important. At the same time we are expecting a lower yield on La Motte as the cool and wet conditions resulted in stringy bunches and lower berry counts. Our Walker Bay vineyards, however, benefited from the rain and higher yields are expected on our Nabot farm in Bot River.

With widespread rain early in January, we will remain vigilant for the possibility of disease. Our main concern is unwanted botrytis, but up till now we have not had any issues.

Our harvest started on 28 January with Pinot Noir for our La Motte MCC followed shortly by Sauvignon Blanc and we are excited about the first harvest from our newly planted Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz vineyards in Elim.

The first 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

The Bot River Sauvignon Blanc crop is up from last year. Franschhoek grapes have definite apple flavours and the grapes from Walker Bay, granadilla.

A successful harvest asks for a team effort and the team at La Motte this year is assisted by an American winemaker John Schultz and a Norwegian Sommelier Lars Hunnes.

Harvest time requires a team effort! The La Motte team celebrates the season on the first day of the 2014 harvest.

If you would like to experience the harvest for yourself, join our Harvest Tasting, everyday on the hour from Tuesdays to Friday.

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