On account of a cold winter and plenty of rain in 2012, expectations are high for a good harvest season. According to Hanno van Schalkwyk, viticulturist at Riebeek Cellars, this year’s harvest is slightly later than the previous year. Even ripening (veraison) of especially the red cultivars is an indication of the deep, dark red wines to come.
Claude Uhren of Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards says that the strong South Easterly winds that are experienced this year contribute to fewer diseases in the vineyards. The granite soils of the Paardeberg area are generally lower in moisture than the surrounding area and irrigation at critical times was necessary to buffer vines against the heat and drought.
A relative cool season was experienced in Piketberg, with no rain during the ripening of the grapes. Wesley du Plessis of Org de Rac reports that their Merlot and Shiraz grapes look especially promising. He predicts that their Shiraz will be ready for harvest towards mid-February. Wesley is also very satisfied with the Chardonnay grapes already picked for their MCC.
All in all the 2013 wine grape harvest is expected to be very promising.