Due to the cold South African winter the grapes had a very good rest and developed well-proportioned body. The growing season was not too warm so we could start our harvest the 29th of January. Alas on 11th of February the heavens opened and the rain came bucketing down – we received 100mm at Delheim, and 45mm at DelVera (our other property just down the road where we grow our red grapes) in one day! This unfortunately delayed the harvest schedule and initially adversely affected the quality of the grapes. The good news is that the red varieties are regaining good concentration, because the warm weather increases the sugar content in the grape. We have almost finished the white grape harvest, and will now concentrate on getting in the bulk of the red wine grapes in the coming two weeks. Fortunately we had nice botrytis development on our Office Block Riesling, meaning we will have some lovely Edelspatz soon.
It’s very pleasing that our Pinotage harvest was even better than last year. Due to the longer growing season, the grapes were more mature when picked. The fruit and the colour is even better than in 2012, which gives the wine a unique freshness. Cellarmaster Reg Holder believes in sticking as close to nature as possible, which is why the grapes were in contact with their skins for only five hours, giving a beautiful light pink colour. The Delheim Pinotage Rosé has got the elegance of a white wine, and is smooth, soft and feminine. It tastes like wild and red strawberries and raspberries, and the palate is elegant but still slightly tart. The 7% Muscat de Frontignan adds some floral and perfume notes. The pH value is lower compared to last year, which gives it freshness and is the reason that the wine can still develop in the bottle for the next two years. The first batch of 2013 Pinotage Rosé was bottled on 11 March.