Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: Harvest

  1. Nearing the end of harvest 2020

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    With the harvest nearing completion it’s been interesting to receive feedback from some of the Vignerons. Although the temperatures have been quite extreme, the winemakers have been happy with the quality of the fruit. The weather has been advantageous for the ripening factors, and their outlook is positive as they remain hopeful that this harvest will result in excellent wines. 

    Photo by Alfred Thorpe

    We chatted to some of our Vignerons to get their responses on this year’s harvest:

    “The quality of the white wines in the cellar were extremely good with great acidity throughout. I was actually quite surprised as I thought the intense high temperatures would have had a negative effect on the acids. The flavours were intense with the only downside being that all the white varietals were ready for picking at the same time. We feel confident in that with the correct viticultural approach the red cultivars will be an excellent vintage,“ says GlenWood Cellar Master DP Burger.

    DP Burger

    Mark van Buuren, winemaker at Anthonij Rupert Wyne for their white wines in the Protea, Terra del Capo and Cape of Good Hope ranges as well as the Jean Roi Rosé had the following to say about this year’s harvest: “It’s been a ‘strange’ summer, with some really hot days, and then some very cold wintery conditions as well as heavy rainfall. The ripening period has been spread out nicely, and there wasn’t the mad rush we experienced last year, which has allowed us to take a bit more time about things. Although it’s still too early to predict my favourite I am positive that our varietals across the portfolio will be superb.”

    Mark van Buuren

    According to Irene de Fleuriot who heads up the winemaking team at La Bri, it’s been a fantastic harvest to date, and the weather on the farm has really played along favourably. Although their yield is slightly down the quality is outstanding. The heat has definitely had an effect, causing high Malic levels, but she’s confident that they will be able to manage these accordingly. The white wines came in at lower sugars and perfectly ripe, which is a bonus. Next to come in from the vineyards is their young block of Cabernet Sauvignon, which she’s extremely optimistic about. 

    Irene de Fleuriot

    Closer to the village is where you’ll find Le Lude, which is home to winemaker Emma Bruwer and her team who have also been busy in the vineyards since beginning January, which is the earliest they have ever started. After a cool December they were able to pick grapes at their optimal ripeness with beautiful acidities and structure. The cool weather and chilly evenings slowed down the ripening process of the grapes and allowed the sugars to increase steadily. This in turn preserved the acidity in the grapes which is so important for Cap Classique’s. They managed to pick a total of 196 tons of which 113 tons were form various producers in Franschhoek. The unseasonal rains at the end of January slowed down production a bit, but not too long as they were able to finish with all their pickings by 30 January. Currently they have just a few more tanks finishing up their fermentations, and she’s excited to taste the base wines once they’re ready. Although it’s difficult to say which wines she’s most excited about, she’s confident that their vintage wines will definitely stand out.

    Emma Bruwer

    “On trend with the bigger industry, we started the La Motte harvest one week earlier than in 2019. In our case on 14 January with Pinot Noir for the La Motte Méthode Cap Classique,” says Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche. With the focus currently on Sauvignon Blanc, he reports that their volumes from the Franschhoek property are currently 100% up on the same time last year. He expects the alcohol to be lower and is happy to report healthy grapes with fresh and lively flavours. “With February heat kicking in, it’s important to carefully monitor ripening and ensure all the hard work done in the vineyards is honoured during the harvesting and winemaking processes. After the January rain, the season is dry again and we don’t have exceptional challenges with the harvest. We expect all the whites to be finished by end of next week. Volume-wise the reds are also currently more than the expectation. I am very happy with colour, analyses and flavours. The grapes are ripening gradually without putting us under too much pressure,” adds Edmund.

    Edmund Terblanche

    With most of the hard work out of the way it’s now a waiting game to see what the end result produces, and we’re confident that our winemaking teams will once again produce world-class wines. We wish them all of them best in this final stretch. 

  2. Harvest season in Franschhoek

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    The months of February and March have great significance in the wine industry, in that it symbolises the celebration of the harvest. This integral part of the winemaking process is a carefully curated journey from vineyard to bottle, which requires the focused attention of the winemaker and their teams. Their days start before the sun rises and some days ends as the sun sets. These long hours in the hot sun are worth it, as it allows the winemaker to create the perfect wine, we as consumers get to sip, sample and savour. It is also the time to truly reflect and value the journey the grape embarks on.

    During this time some of our Franschhoek Vignerons will be celebrating the start of the harvest season with a few bespoke offerings. Make your way to Franschhoek during February as farms in and around the valley will be hosting their own harvest celebrations.

    Until mid-April, La Motte will be hosting their Harvest Experience. Enjoy a specially curated vineyard and cellar tour as you get to learn more about the estate’s harvest processes and biologic farming practices, experience the hand-sorting of grapes and other cellar activities, ending off your tour with a tasting of the Pierneef and La Motte collections. Additionally you can also linger a bit longer and try sharing plates from their popular Garden Menu. Read more about the Harvest Experience here

    La Motte Harvest Experience

    On Saturday, 23 February Grande Provence will be pulling out all the stops for their popular annual Harvest Festival. Pick and stomp your own grapes to the jovial beats of the Kaapse Klopse, followed by a sumptuous harvest feast. This is the perfect day out for the young and old. For more information visit this post.

    Amar Mistry, Cassandra Wilson, Kylie Hatton, Kady van der Walt and Amy Scott

    Although it is a busy time for the winemaking team the wine estates are still up and running, ready to welcome visitors with open arms and eager to share news with you on the harvest progress. We invite you to explore the beautiful Franschhoek Wine Valley during the harvest season which is truly magical.

  3. The La Motte Harvest Experience – A Celebration of Winelands Traditions

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    Whether you get up early to be in the vineyards for cool morning grape picking, stay up late for cellar pump-overs or just enjoy the mosbolletjies baked from the fermenting grape juice, the energy of harvest time in the Winelands is hard to resist. At La Motte, we invite you to share in the excitement with our annual Harvest Experience.

    Join one of our enthusiastic and knowledgeable wine tasting ambassadors during harvest time for a celebration of the unique harvest traditions.

    • In the vineyard – enjoy an introduction to the various varietals, harvest processes and the estate’s biologic farming practices. Spot the differences between the various varieties and taste the sweetness of the ripe berries.
    • In the cellar – experience the hand-sorting of grapes, crush, pump-overs and other cellar activities, concluded with a tasting of grape must (fermenting grape juice) from a fermentation tank.
    • In the tasting room – sit down to a tasting of La Motte’s award-winning collection of wines – five wines from the La Motte Collection as well as the two wines from the estate’s renowned Pierneef Collection.
    • In the shade of the age-old oaks – relax in the calm ambience of the estate gardens and enjoy Chef Eric Bulpitt’s special Harvest Plate. Enjoying your time with us? Why not linger longer and try sharing plates from our Garden Menu – with a glass of wine of course!

    The Harvest Experience at R100 per person includes the vineyard and cellar tour as well as wine tasting. It takes about 90 minutes and will be available hourly from Tuesdays to Fridays, between 10:00 and 15:00 from 1 February to the end of harvest (mid-April).

    The Harvest Plate is additional and optional and is available at R140 per person.

    Reservations can be made with the La Motte Tasting Room at T +27 (0)21 876 8820 or E

  4. Seasonal harvest highlights shared with visitors to Allée Bleue

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    Allée Bleue, the family-owned Estate near Franschhoek in South Africa is primarily a working farm with nearly 80 hectares planted to fruit and olive trees adding to the tranquillity which our setting reflects.    Our wines are justly famous, having won hundreds of awards over the years and the Allée Bleue fresh herb range is available in most large retailers in the Western Cape.

    We produce peaches, nectarines, a large variety of different plums, pears and most of the persimmons grown in this country.   Much of the produce is exported, but locals can enjoy the fruit at selected retailers country-wide as well.   

    We are inviting visitors to Allée Bleue in 2019 to experience the seasons with us and share in the farm’s bounty as it is harvested.  Try out the specially created dishes in our Bistro, buy fresh fruit at our public outlets and collect the free recipe cards as they are released every month.

    Executive Chef Gordon Dovey with  the February dish: Rump steak with a plum chutney and hand-cut chips.

    Chef Gordon Dovey is working closely with the farm team to create original recipe’s highlighting the red Plums, which will be served in the Bistro from January.    The dishes and recipe cards are available at the Bistro every month and this is your chance to test each one before making them at home.  Pair it with the recommended wine and let us know what you think.

    January’s recipe is a smoked chicken and grilled plum salad, perfect for post-festive season healthy eating.    

    Purchase a bag of fresh fruit from our tasting room, the Farm Stall/Marché at the entrance to Allée Bleue and at the picnic courtyard to enjoy on the farm or at home.

    Our website and social media platforms will keep you informed of the monthly fruit celebration coming up, or just arrive, have a look at the blackboard at the Bistro, and enjoy!