The areas hardest hit were Agter Paarl and neighbouring Wellington, Darling and the greater Swartland area, as well as certain sites in Stellenbosch. Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon were the cultivars most affected.
“Considering the dry and warm conditions we’ve been experiencing, the quality of the whites is remarkably good,” says Frans Smit, Spier’s Cellar Master. “We selectively harvested in the vineyards and undertook detailed processes in the cellar to ensure our high quality standards.”
Frans adds: “The quality of our red wines is outstanding. The lower yields – resulting in smaller berries and smaller bunches – reflects in the intensity of the colour and the overall quality. The cultivars we picked earlier, such as Pinotage and Merlot, look especially promising and the rest, with time, will definitely be right up there with them.”
Rain in the next two weeks over the entire procurement area will be essential if the vineyards are to ensure adequate reserves for coming seasons.