With crisp acidity in the whites and small berries for the reds, the La Motte winemaking team is very optimistic about the quality of the 2019 vintage.
"It is still early, but our reds have lovely small berries resulting in intense colour and the red wine aromas in the cellar are beautiful", says La Motte Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche.
"Unevenness is the biggest challenge this season as uncharacteristic Spring weather interfered with flowering. In the same bunch, you'll find big and small berries, ripe and green berries."
La Motte's closely monitored sorting line takes extra care to get rid of unripe berries. "With red grapes, it is easy to spot the green berries, but it is much harder with white grapes. A few unripe berries in between the white grapes, do however contribute to a higher natural acidity - really a luxury in a warm climate like South Africa."
"I expect freshness from the 2019 vintage and when wines are well-balanced good maturation potential."
Despite the knock-on effect of the three-year drought and a record small harvest last year, 2018 saw good winter rains and cold units and the 2019 vintage has been predicted to be about 5% bigger. The uneven ripening does, however, have an effect on the size of the harvest and volumes differ greatly from one area to the next, depending on whether a specific vineyard was in bloom when the strange weather hit.
"On La Motte, our Sauvignon Blanc is 10 to 20% lighter than last year, but in some Bot River vineyards, we are up by 90%!
With only a little summer rain, cooling afternoon winds and moderate temperatures, grapes are healthy with well-defined flavours and good intensity. Although they might be uneven, the looser bunches prevents rot and the fact that we have sufficient water for supplementary irrigation is of course reason to be thankful.