A take on the Harvest of 2020 – Danielle Le Roux CWM

Danielle Le Roux
I deal predominantly with the Donkiesbaai range (whose grapes come from the Piekenierskloof area) which came in earlier this year than the average timing. The quality however was tremendously impressive – evenly riped and healthy grapes. There was a bit of a rush at the beginning of the harvest season with the early readiness of cultivars such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. This was followed by a bit of a lull at the beginning to middle of March in terms of Shiraz and especially Cabernet, sort of hanging and not really ripening sufficiently to that point where you would decide to harvest, again causing a lull in the process. The sugar over all we found to be a little low, but not as low as in 2019.

One thing that really stood out for me this year was the fact that the acid and the pH levels were very stable, so very little adjustments were required in comparison to previous harvests. This proved really good for us, as we saw plenty of natural acidity in the grapes (therefore requiring very little adjustment or intervention.)

Unfortunately at the end of the harvest period, when Covid-19 entered and threw us all a curve ball, with a looming lockdown, we ended up having to harvest certain vineyards earlier than we ideally wanted to, such as our Cabernet and Mourvèdre, as we would have preferred at least another week in hang time. So, we are hoping that the rush at the end will not have any negative consequences.

On the bright side, I feel that overall, everything is looking really good in the cellar and we are excited about and looking forward the quality of the 2020 vintage. Definitely better than 2019 – but we’ll still have to wait a while before we can sample it from the bottle!