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Riebeek Cellars Harvest

2016 HARVEST, NOTHING ORDINARY ABOUT IT

2016 Offered no ordinary harvest. An abnormally dry winter set the scene for an abnormally dry and hot period during ripening which led to a significantly lighter crop.
Grape bunches were lighter with less, smaller berries. The advantage here is that the berries are more concentrated. We also found that the grapes physiologically ripened at lower sugar levels which will be good for managing the alcohol levels.

So far the wines are showing great promise. The white wines have beautiful tropical flavours, while the reds are showing deep bright colour and layered aromas.
Especially the Chenin Blanc and Pinotage are showing all the makings of superb 2016 wines.

  • The drought and persistent warm temperatures had significant impact on crop size.
  • These environmental factors also contributed to the harvest season starting 2 weeks earlier than normal.
  • The season was challenging in the sense that low weight of grape bunches and individual berries, achieved significantly lower tonnage than expected.
  • The benefit of the lower yields, is the potential for wines of superior quality due to the smaller berries that are concentrated with fruit flavour.
  • Tonnage on the White cultivars is down slightly more than the reds with the early reds (like the Pinotage) doing comparatively well in terms of tonnage and quality.
  • Grapes were physiologically mature at lower Ballings-lower Balling = lower alcohol wines.
  • Harvest ended Friday 04 March, after only 8 weeks (shorter compared¬†to a usual harvest period of 10 weeks).
  • The young wines we’ve tasted so far, look very promising –¬†especially the 2016 Chenin Blanc & Pinotage.
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