20 March 2019

2019 Vintage Challenging but Pinotage is Looking Good

Winemakers in the Cape tell me that the 2019 vintage is challenging. Rain, heavy at times and low clouds on hills during the end of March affected late harvested varieties. Where air couldn’t circulate among tight bunches a malady called slip-skin caused skins to fall off grapes.
Also, after three years of drought, vines are over stressed and are starting to drop leaves.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Malbec are being harvested earlier than desired. With lower sugar levels the resulting wines are expected to have lower than usual alcohol levels.

If there is sufficient rain vines are expected to recover for the next season.

However, early ripening grapes including Pinotage were harvested ripe and in good condition and this is expected to be good vintage for Pinotage, while maybe not as great as  2017. Time will tell.

Another severe challenge for wineries is load-shedding. Power cuts, up to 3 a day and each 2½ - 3 hours in duration are a real problem in wineries, even those with  generators to keep essential machinery running don't have lighting.


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