De Grendel Harvest Report 2021
The 2021 harvest was a whopping 14 days later in most regions compared to previous years. But, says Cellar Master Charles Hopkins, the concentration of flavours this year are phenomenal. We sat down with Charles to discuss this year's crop.
What contributed to the season being late?
A cold winter and a cold spring and no heat waves during the growing season. Some nodes (buds that will further develop and grow into fruiting shoots or leaves) did not develop at all, which means less grapes for us.
How does a later harvest season influence the grapes farmed on De Grendel?
A cooler growing season means it takes longer for grapes to ripen, which can be very beneficial. A slower ripening stage results in wines not only being sugar-ready, but also phenolically ripe when it is time to harvest.
How is the crop size compared to last year?
Crop size is smaller than last year, but despite a lower yield we are looking forward to excellent flavour concentration in the final products.
Any major challenges in the vineyard?
We were very blessed that there were no major challenges this year. Apart from the little bit of rain we received once during the growing season which can play havoc in the vineyards regarding mildew and rot if not treated carefully and timely, we really did not have any major obstacles.
Any new plantings planned for this year?
We are exploring options for planting more Pinotage on the farm. The Amandelboord Pinotage is selling much better than forecasted in the International market, so there is a demand for it. The Op die Berg Chardonnay in Ceres is also doing outstandingly well, so we will increase plantings of Chardonnay in that appellation.
New wines coming out of the De Grendel stable in 2021?
Op Die Berg will see the birth of a new wine, a Syrah, in this range. The wine will be released mid-winter.
In general, what can consumers expect of the 2021 vintage?
Consumers can look forward to wines with slightly lower alcohols and more balance with finesse and poise which present an opportunity for longer maturation potential and longevity.