Bein Wine

en     |     de
Bein Logo

Latest News


      Bein Wine on Facebook     Bein Wine channel on youtube

from vineyard and cellar

Click here for previous vintage reports!

May - June: Review of the season 2022-23

With a good 2023 in the barrel, we can once again gratefully look back on a good, if not always easy, year!

It started with a warm and dry winter, though followed by a wet and cold August. Budding took place earlier, but evenly, and the subsequent shoot development was very leisurely, in keeping with the dry and rather cool spring weather. All in all ideal conditions, if only it hadn't been so unusually dry! That's why we irrigated already a first time at the end of October to support the delicate flowering process. Luckily, heavy rain in the first week of December brought some relief, but also increased the risk of fungal diseases during this particularly vulnerable period. Otherwise, however, the season remained dry until the early autumn rains set in, of all things, at the main harvest time. Although we were able to harvest just in time, this was a problem for many fellow winemakers, especially with late-ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon. Otherwise, great things are expected of the wines of this vintage :-)

April - May - an early winter

The cold, wet weather that set in already early in March also determined the following months. However, we are currently busy with cellar work. Firstly, we (finally again ;-) bottled a Merlot Forte, namely from the 2021 vintage. Then of course the Merlot 2022, and also the new MCC 2023  has been put into bottle for the second fermentation. And lastly our youngest wine, the Pink Merlot 2023, has to be bottled and prepared for release as a good forerunner for this vintage.

Also the MCC 2022, which our customers have been waiting for impatiently, had to be labeled and certified - and we can report that it is available now and was very well received!

March 2023 - Harvest for the Reds

As every year, we divided our vineyard into smaller terroirs with the help of remote sensing. The happier growing lots were harvested early for the MCC and the Rose, while the sectors we have earmarked for red wine production were ready for harvest in early March. So we began harvesting for the reds on Friday, March 3rd, happily and in the most beautiful weather. However, an unexpected bad weather front suddenly drove us to hurry, and we decided at short notice to bring in the rest in an extra effort the next day, Saturday - a rather unusual action in South Africa, where weekends are sacrosanct. But it was worth it, and we were able to bring in all our grapes healthy and dry - that continuous rain that started only a few hours later would have watered down our wines for good.

Of course, there was a lot more to do in March beside harvesting. The wines from previous vintages had to be prepared for bottling and - good news for our Bubbly fans - the 2022 MCC had to be disgorged, i.e. the yeast deposits that had formed in the bottle during the second fermentation had to be removed. So we never got bored ;-)

February 2023 - Harvest time!

As in the past two years, harvest started with the grapes for our Sparkling Merlot on January 25th. Such an early harvest is necessary in order to achieve the quality required for the base wine, with low alcohol and a crispy acidity. Two weeks later, on February 8th, we brought in the grapes for our Pink Merlot.
Overall, this year's harvest is well a week earlier than usual, and with evenly ripened grapes of super quality.
After the growing season was very dry so far apart from the downpour in mid-December,  there was eventually another nice rain of 23 mm on February 20th, refreshing the vines in their final sprint to full ripeness. But this should also delay the process a bit, so that we now expect the harvest of the grapes for our red wines to be in the second week of March.

January 2023

With the beginning of the new year, veraison started, the change in color of the grapes. As even and quick flowering was, as quickly was this phase, too, a good sign for qualitatively and quantitatively excellent harvest :-)
However, not all colleagues had the same luck. As the winegrowers' association reported at the end of January, the 2023 harvest will be below average, with uneven fruit development and even hail damage in some districts, as well as fungal disease pressure due to the unusual weather conditions, and the additional problem of load shedding, the current rampant power failures in the country, which makes irrigation scheduling very difficult.

November - December 2022

Flowering, which started in the very last days of October, was very even and completed within a few days only. The fruit set was generous, which allowed us later to trim the fruit generously in order to achieve an optimal distribution of the grapes on the vines.
The weather continued as the year had started, with moderate temperatures but very little rainfall! Luckily there was a heavy downpour of 45mm in mid-December, very welcome to the vines which have established in the meantime a strong and healthy canopy.

September - October 2022 : It's Spring!

Spring 2022 continued to be rather cool with very little precipitation. Budding was even and started in mid-September, around 7-10 days earlier than usual. Subsequent shoot development was very leisurely, in line with the dry and cool weather. So we could calmly do the spring work, like breaking out excess shoots and cleaning the stems. All in all really ideal conditions, if only it hadn't been so unusually dry! So we decided to irrigate once already at the end of October to support flowering that was then expected.

July-August 2022: Cape Winter!

2022 has been a dry year so far. From January to July it rained around 70% less than in the same period of the last 10 years. Fortunately, August brought not only biting cold, but also more rain than usual, so that the soil is finally saturated and the region's water reservoirs are beginning to fill up again. At the end of August the dam of our main supplier Thewaterskloof was 80% full.

June 2022: a nice ending!

The 2021-22 vintage ends on a happy note, with our Little Merlot 2019 being recognized as one of South Africa's Top 10 Merlot, chosen in the new eponymous competition :-)

And one more thing: After we released the MCC in May, it was quickly sold out. But don't worry, the 2022 is already in the bottle and busy with the second fermentation.

April/May 2022

Although the cellar work is significantly less than that in the vineyard, it is mainly concentrated on the few weeks after the harvest. Now it is time to bottle, label and certify the new wines. At Bein Wine, this means a lot of tedious work, as all is done by hand with us. The MCC also requires special attention with disgorging, i.e. removing the lees that collects in the bottle after the second fermentation. And packaging new formats like the bubbly is another challenge! As a reward, we can now offer new wines again, namely the already mentioned MCC brut rosé and the new vintage of our Merlot Reserve.

March 2022 - main harvest

On March 9th the time had come and we were able to harvest wonderfully ripe and healthy grapes for our flagship Merlot. The quality is promising, and after fermentation, the young wines went straight into barrels for completion of malolactic fermentation.

February 2022 - Harvest begins!

Bein MCC 2021It is an open secret that our wine family has grown! The new kid on the block is a Bubbly, specifically a sparkling brut Rosé MCC (for the insiders this means Merlot Cap Classique ;-)

The harvest started early this year, namely on February 2nd with the grapes for this very MCC. For the base wine, these must be harvested very early, for a lively acidity and low alcohol. The grapes for the Pink Merlot followed on February 15, while the grapes for the main wine are allowed to ripen further for another three weeks.

December/January 2022 - Midsummer

Midsummer really deserves the name  this year, with warmer than average temperatures and, above all, very little precipitation, in January just 2 mm in total! At least we didn't have any extremely hot days as in some other wine regions further away from the coast, which were really suffering under the heat. On the other side, this advanced the ripening of the grapes, so we expect begin of harvest on the usual dates again.

November 2021 - early summer

At the beginning of November flowering began in the vineyard, as expected, beautifully evenly. Unfortunately, right then there was again a heavy rain of 25 mm, which was rather undesirable in this delicate phase. At the end of November, however, we see a good fruit set with little millerandage only, and we are looking forward to a good harvest!

Our story told from another perspective

Donkeys in Bein's vineyard5 October 2021: "The Merlot specialist with donkeys and drones" writes Chris Boiling in the on-line wine magazine CANOPY of the IWC. Read on here... 

September-October 2021 - it's spring in the Cape

After this cold, rainy winter, spring itself was characterized by comparatively little rainfall and moderate temperatures. These are ideal conditions for budding, which actually began evenly in mid-September. Last but not least, there was again a decent rain at the end of October, certainly a good booster for the dry summer months to come.

July-August 2021 - the rainy season!

Winter is the rainy season in the Cape. Fortunately, after several dry years with corresponding water scarcity, we got some decent rain again. And this winter brought so much that for the first time since 2014 all water reservoirs in the Winelands were full. But it was cold too, very cold - a real Cape winter!
However, we had an unusually warm period in June. Even the birds were surprised and started breeding in vineyard and garden. The weaver birds began building nests, and the first chick of our Dikkop family (Burrhinus capensis) hatched 3 months earlier than usual! A pair of Hadedas (Bostrychia hagedash) also tried their luck and nested in the acacia in front of our house. At the end, however, the cold came back with the first heavy winter rains, and only the little dikkoppie survived the miserable weather.

Previous reports have been condensed to vintage reports for each year and can be looked up there.