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Vintage report 2012

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Merlot 2012

Unfortunately, this season we couldn't produce our flagship Bein Merlot, since the best fruit was destroyed by a fire in early January 2012. So we focused exclusively on our Little Merlot. Besides, we produced the usual quantities of rosé, our popular Pink Merlot.

VINTAGE REPORT 2012

April 2012: Late harvest - ripe fruit

Delayed budding and dry but cooler conditions during summer resulted in a very late harvest: The grapes for the rosé were harvested on 13th of March, while the fruit for the red wine only came in on April 3 and 4, i.e. just before the Easter weekend. For those who follow our stories, this is really late for Stellenbosch. But waiting was well worth it, since we were rewarded with a super-ripe crop in terms of phenolic ripeness, with at the same time surprisingly low sugar levels, which means lower alcohol potential.

On the other hand, we could hardly wait until it was time to pick, because for the first time, we wanted to harvest with our donkeys. The video tells you more.

January - February 2012: Ripening time

It was a dry summer. Very, very dry! And so it happened: On January 8, a fire broke out on the nearby highway and quickly spread into the best part of our vineyard. The damage was extensive, and within half an hour, 30% of our crop was destroyed. So this vintage will not produce any Bein Merlot or Reserve Merlot 2012.

But life goes on: already 4 weeks later, the vines budded again, and they seemed to try catching up for next season. For the rest of the vineyard, veraison completed by mid-Feb, and were looking forward to a rather late and small but good crop. What is the saying? Less is more!

December 2011: Stellenbosch is busy

Still lots of work in the vineyard, but also the visitors are returning to the Winelands keeping us busy. A special attraction was the 2nd "Summer in Stellenbosch Valley Festival", where we offered our Merlots with Swiss delicacies. See more on the video clip.

November 2011 keeps us in the vineyard
It is still unusually dry, yet the growing vines keep us busy with shoot positioning over and over again, leaf plugging, tipping and topping and finally bunch trimming. Have a look at the video and see how this works.
September 2011: A dry start

We had only little rain, though the beginning of September was characterized by unfriendly wet-cold weather. By mid-September, this changed to sunny and we could accomplish the short-pruning by September 15 in beautiful weather, which stayed on for the rest of the month. This however means another dry start into the season.

August 2011: Rain at last

August finally brought some rain, and the main dams filled to 70% of their capacity. The vineyard is still dormant, and the final short-pruning to two buds is planned for mid September.

July 2011: Cold and dry

It is cold, very cold. But also dry, very dry. Up to now, we haven't had even half the rain usual during this time of the year. But thanks to sufficient precipitation in the previous winter, the dams are still comparably full.
Contrary to popular belief, winter brings lots of work, in the vineyard with pruning and maintenance, in the cellar with racking and blending.
Also the donkeys want to be kept busy, since there are not many tourists for their entertainment. So we restored an old Cape donkey cart and will put them to work...we'll keep you posted in case we succeed :-))
Winter is also flowering time, with flowers all over in the most varied colors. The birds also get ready for the new season with a vibrant new plumage. And at last, our barn owls started breeding. On July 21, they laid their first egg.